Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Organic Farming Scheme

Photo of Brian StanleyBrian Stanley (Laois-Offaly, Sinn Fein)
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888. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider reopening the organic farming scheme. [6189/20]

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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Under Ireland's current Rural Development Plan (2014 -2020) the amount of land under organic production has seen an increase of nearly 50% to nearly 74,000 hectares.  A budget of €56m was allocated to fund the Organic Farming Schemes opened during the period 2014 to 2020 which was the largest allocation ever to an Organics support scheme.  This allocation of funds is now fully consumed.

The Organic Farming Scheme was re-opened on a targeted basis last year to new farms wishing to convert.  However, as the scheme is part of our overall Rural Development Programme (RDP) and as our RDP funds are fully committeed to the end of the programme, funding is not available for a further re-opending of the scheme.

The consultation process on the next RDP as part of the next CAP is already underway and I would welcome stakeholder views on this and the shape of any future Organic Farming Scheme.

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