The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, today welcomed the issuance of approvals to applicants for the latest tranche of the Organic Farming Scheme. 336 new applicants who applied earlier this year have been approved and this will add 16,000 hew ha’s of land farmed organically in Ireland.
The Minister said:
“I’m delighted approvals have issued for these farmers and that we have an additional approximately 16,000 ha of land participating in the Organic Farming Scheme. Interest in and support for organic farming continues to grow.
"I can also confirm that the new Organic Farming Scheme with funding of €256 million will open for applications in early October and will remain open until end-November. Farmers should avail of the latest advice from their farm advisor and check out the farm walks nationwide in the run-up to this opening. I would also encourage them to check out the CAP calculator available on the department website to see their potential payment under the new Organic Farming Scheme."
Minister Hackett also highlighted the new Organic Village, a collaboration between the department and National Organic Training Skillnet, at the Ploughing Championships as a further example of the huge interest in the sector.
The Minister noted:
“For the first time in Ploughing championship history, a dedicated Organic village will feature prominently on site, showcasing the thriving organic sector across a broad and diverse range of exhibition stands. Recognition of organic produce as an environmentally friendly consumer option continues to grow and I am delighted to see my department working in collaboration with National Organic Training Skillnet to meet the increased demand for knowledge in the sector. There will be strong interest in the Organic Village from farmers, industry, and consumers alike and I wish every success to all exhibitors in this exciting addition to the Ploughing 2022 event."
Sean McGloin, Manager of National Organic Training Skillnet added:
“The Organic Village represents how organic agriculture is rapidly becoming a very viable opportunity for many farmers – and it is important to provide an opportunity for farmers to inform their decision-making process, and also sample some wonderful organic products all under one roof. All of the relevant organisations, from the department, and the Organic Certification Bodies will all be on hand to answer queries, and there will also be plenty of knowledge sharing available from advisory bodies such as Teagasc and the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA)."
Finally the Minister reminded farmers that the National Organic beef open day jointly organised by Teagasc, Bord Bia and DAFM is taking place on 28 September in Co Tipperary.