Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Questions (362)

Charlie McConalogue


362. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he is considering reopening the organic farm scheme to new entrants for specific commodity sectors that are in deficit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40994/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) is part of Ireland's Rural Development Plan and has met all targets for the present programming period in terms of intake and area.

A Strategic Review of the Organic Sector was carried out to assess the justification for reopening the OFS, looking to best economic and environmental outcomes. Based on this assessment, the scheme was reopened in December 2018 for a limited period focusing on areas that are in deficit, namely organic horticulture, tillage and dairy.

I have no plans, therefore, to reopen the current Organic Farming Scheme for applications but will review this position in light of the next CAP. In this regard, I would encourage all stakeholders to engage with the current consultation process on the next CAP to make their views known on which types of schemes should be included.