IFA Ulster/Nth Leinster Regional Chairman Nigel Renaghan is encouraging farmers to apply for the Organic Farming Scheme, which has re-opened for applications until December 19th.
Nigel Renaghan, who heads up the IFA Project Team on organics, said the window for farmers to apply is quite tight and he appealed to farmers to prepare their plan as soon as possible.
“We have a deficit in horticulture, cereals and dairy in this country. The Department will give priority to those areas so farmers who are interested should make their application.”
The Organic Farming Scheme is a measure under the RDP. Farmers sign up to a contract for five years, with standard payments of up to €220 per hectare during the conversion period and up to €170 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status.
Nigel Renaghan said the latest figures indicate there are 72,000 hectares under organic production, an increase of nearly 50% since the start of the Programme in 2014.