Payments for farmers in the Organic Farming Scheme have commenced.
. Payments to the value of approximately €6.1 million have already been made to almost 1,300 farmers, commencing at the end of November. Payments will continue to be made to farmers between now and the end of the year.
The Minister commented “I am delighted to announce that advance payments commenced ahead of schedule and earlier than last year. The Organic Farming Scheme is one of our most successful schemes under our current Rural Development Programme and it has more than achieved its targets in terms of land converted and maintained for organics.”
The payments to farmers under this scheme mean that since September, DAFM has paid out a total of €1.55 Billion in direct payment to farmers.
The Minister concluded “my Department has delivered the biggest Organics scheme ever seen in Ireland under this RDP and we re-opened it last year to new entrants. I’m delighted to be meeting our commitments to the scheme participants on payments and would encourage all stakeholders to continue to engage with the CAP consultation process to inform the shape of the next Organics scheme”.
- The Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) is an agri-environmental Scheme designed to deliver enhanced environmental and animal welfare benefits and to provide compensation to farmers who farm their holding to organic farming standards for a period of five years. The overall objective is to deliver the environmental and animal welfare benefits, while encouraging producers to respond to the market demand for organically produced food.
- The OFS is a major scheme under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme. There are currently 1530 participants in the Scheme and some 72,000 hectares under organic production, an increase of nearly 50% on the position at the start of the Programme in 2014.
- The advance payment which has just issued consists of 85% of the full payment due; balancing payments of 15% will be paid in 2020 in accordance with EU Rules.
- Advance payments commenced in 2018 on 7th December.