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Organically farmed area triples since 2020

Organically farmed area triples since 2020

Following the announcement that 1,050 new applicants will participate in the Organic Farming Scheme this year, bringing the total to over 5,000, the area being farmed organically in Ireland is set to triple since 2020.

As of the latest tranche of the Organic Farming Scheme, the land area farmed organically will now be approximately 225,000ha or 5% of the total. The participation of these 5,000 farmers in the Organic Farming Scheme means that Ireland will be ~50% of the way to achieving the target set out under the Climate Action Plan to have 10% of land farmed organically by 2030.

Making the announcement earlier today that all eligible new applications to the 2024 Organic Farming Scheme will be accepted, Minister of State Pippa Hackett said: “These are really significant milestones and they show that the organic sector in Ireland is continues to grow at a significant pace.

“Many farmers in Ireland are at stocking rates where they can easily replace expensive chemical fertiliser and imported concentrates with multispecies grass and red clover. It takes a high level of skill and understanding of how healthy soil works to trust yourself to farm organically, and Irish farmers are well able for this challenge.”

Next steps

For the new entrants to the Organic Farming Scheme, they must: attend a 25-hour training course in their first year of farming organically; submit a BISS application form annually; and comply with organic standards.

Read more: Upcoming Organic Farming Principles Courses

Additionally, Minister Hackett also touched on research work being completed by Teagasc this year to develop blueprints for organic beef and lamb production and the role of Bord Bia in opening markets for Irish organic produce. Minister Hackett also encouraged farmers who are considering converting to organic in the future to attend as many organic farm walks as possible to “see for themselves on the ground how an organic farm works”.

Also read: ‘Knowledge gap’ in organic conversion to be addressed in new research project