Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Questions (461)

Matt Carthy

Question:

461. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount of land in organic production or in conversion by year since 2016 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38469/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The table below details the amount of land declared as organic or in conversion for the period 2016 to 2020. There is a slight reduction in the area farmed organically in 2020 due to some participants not continuing in the scheme and therefore ceasing their conversion.

A total of 317 applications were received under the 2021 Organic Farming Scheme. As the Basic Payment Scheme applications have not yet been finalised, the organic area in respect of 2021 is not yet available. I believe that the additional funding of €4 million provided for this new Scheme will facilitate the entry of all eligible applicants into the organic farming system.

Based on the average size of organic farms, I believe there will be in the region of an additional 16,000 hectares brought into the Scheme in respect of these applications. This will equate to an increase of over 20% in the area of land farmed organically in 2021.

Year

Land classified as organic or as organic in conversion

2016

60,500 ha

2017

68,527 ha

2018

66,745 ha

2019

76,141 ha

2020

73,178 ha