Thursday, 29 April 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Organic Farming Scheme
170. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of beef farmers participating in the organic farming scheme; the total and average payment by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22532/21]
The Department does not differentiate between different animal farming enterprises for payment purposes for the Organic Farming Scheme. Many farmers in the Scheme have more than one farming enterprise listed on their organic licence and the predominant enterprise is not determined.
The information on the table above refers to all farmers who have a bovine enterprise. The payment figure refers to the total amount of payments received by each farmer under the Scheme since the commencement of the current Rural Development Programme. The figures quoted reflect the fact that OFS contracts commenced in 2015, in 2016 and 2019.
As the balancing payment for 2020 has not yet issued it is not included in the above table.
171. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of participants and the funding allocated to the organic farming scheme in 2020; the amount allocated for 2021; the intended number of participants in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22533/21]
|Number of participants||Funding allocated per year|
|2021 OFS||Application period still open||€4m|
The Organic Farming Scheme contracts of 1,467 participants were due to end on 31st December 2020. All of these farmers were offered an extension of their contract until 31st December 2021. Some 1,396 of these farmers accepted the offer of an extension. A budget of €10.975m has been allocated for payments in 2021 in respect of these participants and the participants who have a contract until 31 December 2023.
The Organic Farming Scheme 2021 opened on 1st March and will close Friday 30 April so at this stage it is not possible to state the actual numbers applying for the scheme. I believe that the additional funding of €4 million provided for this new Scheme will facilitate the entry of 400-500 new farmers into the organic farming system.