CORK farmers considering an application to the Organic Farming Scheme have until April 30 to do so, following the re-opening of the scheme earlier this month with an additional budget of €4 million for 2021.

This additional funding was confirmed by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett when she confirmed the continuation of the scheme last month.

1,460 farmers participated in the last scheme, and it is envisaged that approximately 500 more may be successful in their application this Spring.

Philip O’Connor, Head of Farm Supports at Ifac said: “Applications for the scheme must be made online through the Department’s online system at agfood.ie. I would encourage every farmer to inform themselves of the opportunities that the Organic Farming Scheme offers and give it full consideration.” 

Payments of up to €220 per hectare are available for farms undergoing conversion to full organic status, a process that takes two years, or €170 per hectare for farms that have obtained that status.

Higher payment rates are available for organic horticulture and tillage farmers.

The minimum farm area allocated is three hectares for dairy, dry stock, and tillage, or one hectare for horticulture, with rates of payment decreasing for horticulture farms over six hectares, tillage farms over 20 hectares, and all farms over 60 hectares.

All applications must be processed through agfood.ie, and to be eligible, farmers must submit an annual Basic Payment Scheme application and must be registered with one of the two Organic Control Bodies that certify land-based organic operators; The Irish Organic Association and Organic Trust CLG.

Ifac is 45 years in business providing specialist advice to the farming, food, and agribusiness community – it has been at the heart of agriculture and food since 1975.

It is a co-operative-owned, professional services firm operating from over 30 locations across Ireland, with over 400 people serving 19,000 clients nationwide.

It specialises in tax advisory, accountancy, pension planning, succession planning, and a myriad of other financial services, which help clients to build profitable and sustainable businesses.

Ifac is Ireland’s eighth-largest accountancy firm by turnover and largest by the number of clients.

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