20% increase in new applicants compared to previous year.
Press Release 26 April 2022
I'm thrilled to see the high application rate for the organic farming scheme which closed last Friday. There were 380 new applicants which is almost a 20% increase in application numbers to the Scheme in compared to 2021. Altogether this means just under 700 new farmers joining the scheme in the last 12 months.
In 2021 an additional 12,000 ha were farmed organically and its expected that this will increase by a further 17,000 ha this year due to the recent opportunity to apply to the scheme. These 29,000 new ha’s mean a 35% increase in the area of land farmed organically in the last two years. I’m delighted to see so many farmers engage with the scheme this year. It builds substantially on the 2021 reopening and I hope it will give confidence to more farmers to convert to organic farming . It’s extremely encouraging that farmers and their advisers are responding to this scheme. We’re committed to working with them to ensure that they get the maximum benefit under the scheme.
The Organic Farming Scheme will again be open for applications in October this year and I would encourage all farmers interested in joining to attend a farm walk on an organic farm this summer in preparation for joining the scheme this Autumn. The advice and knowledge is there for every farmer and I encourage all farmers to fully assess the opportunities here and join the growing number of farmers going organic.