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Northern Ireland window for organic support payments to open

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Funding for NI organic farmers to open

 

The Northern Ireland government is offering financial support for those converting to organic farming. This is the first support of the current Rural Programme for Development 2014-2020. The application window is open until the end of March. The Soil Association can certify organic farmers, and are welcoming applications with a new support package for farmers interested in converting to organic and competitive certification fees.

The new Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) is aiming to achieve 700ha of land into organic conversion by 2020, and with financial support this is a great time for farmers to apply.

Finn Cottle, Trade Consultant at Soil Association Certification, met landowners in Northern Ireland and reported on a 6.1% UK increase in organic sales in the last year.

The market is growing and supply growth is not keeping pace at present. Our team is at the end of the phone and will be happy to help with any EFS queries.

Essential information about the scheme:

  • Organic conversion & maintenance options are available: the application window is expected to be open during March, after the information meetings this month
  • Organic Farming Conversion and Organic Farming Maintenance options are available as part of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) 
  • Organic conversion payments range from £45/hectare to £358/hectare
  • Organic maintenance payments range from £20/hectare to £197/hectare
  • Agreements will last for 5 years
  • You should be registered with a certification body on or before the date of your application

Organic maintenance & conversion options

To enter land there is a minimum area of 3ha of grass and arable and 1 ha for horticultural land, which includes top fruit. Schemes are for 5 years.

These payments are for the first 60ha of arable land and grassland and for the first 6 hectares of horticultural land. Above these 60ha and 6ha threshold digressive payments are offered.

Option

Conversion Payments £ / Hectare

 

Full Rate

Digressive Payment

Grassland

144

45

Arable land

149

45

Horticulture

358

149

 

Option

Management Payments £ / Hectare

 

Full Rate

Digressive Payment

Grassland

53

20

Arable land

53

20

Horticulture

197

53

 

Thinking about going organic? 

Find out more about how we can help you go organic & sell organic. Soil Association Certification offers an exclusive business support package not available anywhere else. 

 

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