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Closing date for Organic Farming Scheme extended

Potential for farmers to receive up to €15,000 per year under the scheme

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Horticulture

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7 April 2022 | 0

The closing date for the Organic Farming Scheme has been extended for new applicants to 22 April 2022.

The scheme, which is part of the Programme for Government commitment to substantially increase land farmed organically in Ireland, comes with an additional €5 million in budget to take in new entrants.

The Organic Farming Scheme is an agri-environment measure under the Department’s Rural Development Programme.

Farmers entering the scheme could qualify for yearly payments of up to €220 per hectare during the conversion period and up to €170 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status. Higher payment rates are available for organic horticulture and tillage farmers. Farmers who apply this year can also avail of any new rates introduced next year under the new CAP.

The area at which farmers will receive higher payment has been increased from 60ha to 70 ha in recognition of the larger area farmed by full time farmers.

“The series of public consultations that has taken place in March 2022 across the country on the new CAP has generated significant interest from farmers in converting to organic farming and the supports that are available,” said Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett.

“To ensure maximum opportunity for those who are interested in applying during the current scheme window, I have decided to extend the closing date by a further two weeks to Friday 22 April 2022. I have listened to farmers and their advisors on the need for this extension, and I am pleased now to announce an extension so that they have more time to consider and submit applications.”

Changes to the scheme this year have included lowering the required stocking rate and expanding the area paid at the higher rate.

“I hope the extended closing date will attract more farmers to consider joining the scheme,” continued Minister Hackett. “There is potential for farmers to receive up to €15,000 per year under the scheme. In a time of high input costs for farmers, the Organic Farming Scheme offers an opportunity for farm enterprises to diversify and I would really encourage farmers to consider availing of the high level of supports that my department is providing for those converting to organic farming.”

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