Application for Organic Farming Scheme opens

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is currently accepting applications for the 2013 Organic Farming Scheme.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is currently accepting applications for the 2013 Organic Farming Scheme.

Minister Simon Coveney said that the scheme was an agri-environment measure and came under the remit of the Department’s Rural Development Programme 2007-13.

“Farmers may enter into a contract for a minimum of five years,” he said. “Those accepted onto the scheme could also qualify for yearly payments of up to €283 per hectare during the conversion period, and up to €142 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status.”

Applicants are required to submit a business plan with their OFS application and, if they have not previously taken part in the Organic Supplementary Measure in REPS, to undertake an approved training course. Closing date for the scheme is May 15, 2013.

Copies of the revised Organic Farming Scheme terms and conditions, together with application forms, are available on the Department’s organics page at www.agriculture.gov.ie