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Enhanced rates for Organic Farmers

Enhanced rates for Organic Farmers

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett recently announced proposed new enhanced rates for farmers participating in the Organic farming scheme. These are subject to approval by the European Commission.

Pictured above at the launch on Castlewood Organic Farm, Durrow, Co. Laois with the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett are Teagasc Director Professor Frank O'Mara and farm owners Dominic Leonard and Alison Duck

Senator Hackett gave her commitment to growing and investing in the Irish organic sector. Feedback from the CAP consultative committee, the reconvened Organic Strategy forum and interested stakeholders has made it clear that enhanced payment rates are needed to support farmers converting to and maintaining organic farming. The budget proposed for this scheme under the next CAP is a five-fold increase on what was previously available.

 Proposed enhanced payment rates

 Year 1-2 - in conversion
<<70ha - €/ha
Year 1-2 - in conversion
>70ha - €/ha
Year 3-5 - fully converted
<<70ha - €/ha
Year 3-6 - fully  converted 
>70ha - €/ha
Drystock 300 60 250 30
Tillage 320 60 270 30
Dairy 350 60 300 30
Horticulture 800 60 600 30

Organic farmers incur additional expenses on an annual basis such as attending training and constantly upskilling themselves in soil health and animal management. In recognition of these costs the minister is proposing an annual participation payment which will be €2000 in the first year of conversion and €1400/year thereafter. This will support farmers to achieve the targets set out in the Programme for Government of farming 330,000 ha organically.

Rates payment calculator

In order to allow farmers and advisors assess the increased level of support of these new rates a payments calculator has been developed and will be available at the CAP calculators section of the Department website  This calculator will assess the value of converting to organic.

Minister Hackett engaged with stakeholders and industry and there is broad acceptance that the environmenal and socio-economic benefits of Organic farming are needed now more than ever. 

Teagasc and the  Agricultural Consultants Association welcomed the increased payments recognising that organic farming is a viable farming option for many farmers around the country. 

Teagasc are increasing the staff resource allocated to the team providing organic advice. Additional advisers and a specialist are being recruited. This enhanced team will support existing organic farmers, those converting to organic, and those farmers considering the option in the future.

Find out more about organic farming

Castlewood Organic Farm