Over €1m in balancing payments under the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) 2020 will be issued this week to 1,300 farmers.
Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett made the announcement earlier today.
“I am delighted to announce the commencement of these balancing payments to organic farmers,” she added.
“Payments of over €1m under this scheme will commence issuing to over 1,300 organic farmers with further payments issued in the coming weeks.
“This was due to be the final payment to farmers under the Scheme but because my department was able to offer an extension of the contract to all the farmers who had a contract expiring, there was an exceptionally high uptake of the extension by those farmers.”
Minister Hackett went on to say that the OFS acted as a “key support measure” to assist organic farmers in responding to the increasing consumer demand for organically produced food.
“I was pleased to reopen the OFS for new applicants in March this year and welcome the wide geographic spread of interest in the scheme,” she said.
“We’ve increased the number of organic farmers in Ireland this year by 20% as a result and this is only the start of our ambitious plans for the growth of the sector.”
There are currently 1,530 organic farmers participating in the Scheme with annual payments amounting to approximately €9m.
74,000 hectares in Ireland are under organic production.