Minister of State Pippa Hackett announced that 1,050 additional farmers will participate in the Organic Farming Scheme this year.

Minister Hackett said:

These additional 1,050 farmers will mean we have over 5,000 participants in the Organic Farming Scheme in 2024, and a tripling of the area being farmed organically since 2020.

These are really significant milestones, and they show that the organic sector in Ireland is continues to grow at a significant pace.

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Many farmers in Ireland are at stocking rates where they can easily replace expensive chemical fertiliser and imported concentrates with multi-species grass and red clover.

It takes a high level of skill and understanding of how healthy soil works to trust yourself to farm organically, and Irish farmers are well able for this challenge.

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Minister Hackett concluded:

Teagasc is commencing research this year which will set out blueprints for organic beef and lamb production, and I am confident that Bord Bia will continue to open markets for Irish organic produce.

Although input prices have fallen, farmers have experienced serious price inflation and bad weather for the last number of years.

For those who have not yet made the change, I would urge them to attend one of the many organic farm walks that will take place later this year and see for themselves on the ground how an organic farm works.

I would like to welcome our new organic farmers, and to assure them that I will continue to work tirelessly for the success of the sector as we continue to grow.

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