Over €5.3m in advance payments under the 2022 Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) will be received by more than 1,000 organic farmers over the coming days.

The advance payments amount to 85% of the full annual payment offered under the OFS. The subsequent 15% balancing payment is expected to be made to farmers in May 2023.

At present, there are approximately 2,100 organic farmers participating in the OFS and annual payments under the scheme will amount to approximately €13m, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

Announcing the commencement of the advance payments, Minister of State at the Department Pippa Hackett said the €5.3m represents an increase of €1.3m, compared to 2021 figures.

She said payments have issued earlier this year and that they will continue over the coming weeks to the remaining farmers.

New scheme

Minister Hackett highlighted that existing organic farmers whose contracts end this year, must apply to participate in the new OFS on agfood.ie by 9 December.

The scheme remains open to applications from all farm sectors until this date with applications already received understood to be in the high hundreds.

A guide to the Organic Farming Scheme application process and a FAQ document is available here on the department’s website to assist potential applicants.

The Minister said: “In the past couple of years, there has been significant interest and growth in the organic sector and we are focused on delivering the Programme for Government target of 7.5% of land under organic production.

“As such, these payments to organic farmers are vital to provide the necessary support for the maintenance and conversion to organic farming.”

The department’s organic division can be contacted on 053 91 63400 or by email to organic@agriculture.gov.ie.

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