01 Oct 2022

Carlow organic farmers can expect new enhanced rates in 2023

Carlow organic farmers can expect new enhanced rates in 2023

This is part of the ongoing discussions on approval of Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan, and would apply from 1st January 2023

New enhanced rates for organic farmers in Carlow and across Ireland are due to come into effect in 2023. 

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett announced the new rates on Monday July 20, which are subject to approval by the European Commission. 

This is part of the ongoing discussions on approval of Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan, and would apply from 1st January 2023. 

Announcing the news, Minister Hackett said, "The budget proposed for this scheme under the next CAP is a five-fold increase on what was previously available. This is my commitment to growing and investing in the Irish organic sector.

"Feedback from the CAP consultative committee, the reconvened Organic Strategy forum and interested stakeholders has made it clear that enhanced payment rates are needed to support farmers converting to and maintaining organic farming." 

She added: “Organic farmers incur additional expenses on an annual basis such as attending training and constantly upskilling themselves in soil health and animal management.

"In recognition of these costs I am proposing an annual participation payment which will be €2000 in the first year of conversion and €1400/year thereafter. This will support farmers as we achieve the targets set out in the Programme for Government of farming 330,000 ha organically." 

A payments calculator has also been developed to allow farmers to assess the value of converting to organic and the increased level of support the new payments will bring. 

The minister noted: "I have engaged with stakeholders and industry and there is broad acceptance that the environmenal and socio-economic benefits of Organic farming are needed now more than ever. 

"The new enhanced rates are reflective of my commitment to ensure that our Programme for Government target of 7.5% of farmland to be under organic production by the end of the CAP cycle of 2027, is achieved. I am confident that these new rates will entice in many new farmers to organic farming and I would encourage every farmer to consider it and be ready for when the new scheme opens this autumn.” 

The Agricultural Consultants Association President Noel Feeney also commented and said, "ACA welcome the very positive news on the increased payments for organics. ACA have commenced our National advisory training programme and in the forthcoming months our members will have significant contact with Irish farmers. The discussions and promotion of organics with our clients are greatly helped with this announcement and we look forward to assisting Minister Hackett and her officials with the sectoral objectives." 

Teagasc Director Professor Frank O’Mara welcomed the news, stating, "Organic farming offers a viable farming option for many farmers around the country. Today’s announcement will make it more attractive. Teagasc are increasing the staff resource allocated to the team providing organic advice, through the recruitment of a number of additional advisers and a specialist.

"This enhanced team will support existing organic farmers, those converting to organic, and those farmers considering the option in the future.”

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