1. Home
  2. /
  3. Climate Change
  4. /
  5. Climate Change News
  6. /
  7. Minister Hackett Announces Commencement...

The Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, today announced the commencement of the 2020 balancing payments for the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS).

The Minister stated, “I am delighted to announce the commencement of these balancing payments to organic farmers. Payments of over €1 million under this scheme will commence issuing to over 1,300 organic farmers from today with further payments to issue in the coming weeks.”

The Minister further commented that, “this was due to be the final payment to farmers under the scheme but I am pleased not only that my Department was able to offer an extension of the contract to all the farmers who had a contract expiring but also the exceptionally high uptake of the extension by those farmers.”

The Minister further added, “the Organic Farming Scheme is 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 Organic Farming Scheme for new applicants in March this year and welcome the wide geographic spread of interest in the scheme. 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.”

Background 

  • This round of payments is the balancing payment amounting to 15% of the full annual payment due under the OFS; the 85% advance payment issued in November 2020 to the OFS participants in accordance with EU rules.
  • At present, there are 1,530 organic farmers participating in the Organic Farming Scheme and annual payments under the Scheme amount to approximately €9 million.
  • Some 74,000 hectares currently under organic production
  • Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) currently has 1,530 participants. 95% of OFS farmers accepted the offer of an extension of their contract in December 2020.

The Organic Division in DAFM can be contacted on 0761 064415 or by email to organic@agriculture.gov.ie.