The Irish Government has set a target for bringing Ireland in line with the EU average of organic production.
This would see the organic sector grow from less than 2% of utilisable agricultural area under organic production to almost 8% in the coming years.
The sector is currently experiencing considerable growth and the area under organic production has already increased by 50% to 74,000ha since 2014.
The Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) has been reopened for further applications from up to 500 farmers, after it had its budget boosted by €4m.
Figures published by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue in response to questions from Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy detail where growth in the sector has occurred to-date.
Cork, as Ireland’s largest county with the highest overall number farmers, also has the most organic farms and total organic hectares.
There are almost 200 farms signed up to the OFS in Cork, farming some 9,000ha organically. The next closest county is Roscommon with 170 farms farming 7,500 organic hectares.
Limerick and Tipperary each have more than 100 organic farms, while Galway (6,600ha) and Kerry (5,500ha) have the third and fourth highest area of organic production.
These six counties account for half of all organic production in Ireland.
At the opposite end of the scale, there are less than 10 organic farms in the smaller counties of Carlow, Louth, and Dublin.
The average payment across all farms in the scheme is €6,100, while the average size of the farms is 48ha.