Payments boost for organic farmers
60pc increase in payments under new €56m scheme
Organic farmers received confirmation today of a 60pc increase in their payments under a new €56m scheme announced by the Department of Agriculture.
Livestock farms up to 60ha in size will now be paid €220/ha during conversion, and €170/ha subsequently.
This brings payments into line with what livestock farmers in Europe are receiving, according to IOFGA. However, they pointed to ongoing production deficits in the tillage, horticulture and dairy sectors, with imports dominating.
"With the EU market valued at €23bn, Irish farmers have a lot of market opportunities sitting on their doorstep," said IOFGA's Gillian Westbrook.
"In Ireland 1.3pc of land is certified organic, well below the EU average of 5pc. In addition there are 10 countries in Europe recording over 10pc of their land as certified organic."
To assist farmers in the transition to organic production IOFGA is running a farm-walk programme for new members, whereby established organic farmers share their experiences of producing food to organic standards and also explore available options within organic markets.
The closing date for applications to the scheme is May 29, and these must be made online. However, there is no requirement to use an agricultural advisor to make the applications. By entering the scheme, the farmer is entering a five-year contract.