IFA Organic Project Team Chair John Curran has acknowledged that the proposed increased payment rates for farmers participating in the organic farm scheme is a positive step for the sector.
“The current payment rates are not enough to encourage farmers to convert and to remain farming organically. Farmers will now be paid over €300/ha to convert to organics. IFA have lobbied for substantial increases to the rates under the new CAP. This announcement is a step in the right direction,” John Curran said.
The rates are subject to approval by the European Commission as part of the ongoing discussions on approval of Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan, and would apply from 1st January 2023.
“Organic farming incurs a lot of additional ‘hidden’ costs such as training and costs associated with certification. The proposal of a new ‘participation payment’ is also positive. This payment will be €2000 in the first year of conversion and €1400/year thereafter,” he said.
The IFA Organic Project Team Chair concluded that given the ambition to grow organic farming set out both at European level and under the Programme for Government, it is imperative that the sector continues to receive additional support in terms of advisory support and knowledge transfer.
“This will allow farmers to make informed decision should they decide to pursue organic farming. The establishment of robust markets to facilitate the increase in organic production must also be a priority of the newly-established organic forum,” John Curran said.