Between 400 to 500 new farmers are expected to join the Organic Farming Scheme, which opened this week.
The reopening, is expected to result in an increase of up to 30 per cent in the number of farmers who operate organically in Ireland this year.
Announcing the opening, Minister Pippa Hackett said: “This is a really good scheme, which provides farmers with the support they need to go organic so I would really encourage those considering conversation to engage with it.”
Organic farming embraces nature and natural processes to produce organic food, for which there is a growing demand both in Ireland and across Europe.
Minister Hackett promised to help the growing number of farmers in Ireland who want to farm organically, especially young farmers.
“Going organic can lead to higher prices and amore sustainable way of farming. It is less intensive, and it embraces nature and natural processes to produce organic food, for which there is a growing demand both in Ireland and across Europe,” she added.
Farmers entering the Scheme could qualify for yearly payments of up to €220 per hectare during the conversion period and up to €170 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status.
The Scheme will be open to applications from all sectors until 30 April 2021.