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Anderson welcomes Organic support

15 November, 2007


Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has welcomed new measures from the Agriculture Minister to assist the organic farming trade here.

Ms. Anderson said:

"I recently met with representatives of the organic farming trade in the North West and I was extremely impressed with the work they are doing and their plans for the future.

"Following the meeting, I asked the Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew to outline what measures her Department is taking to support this growing industry.

"I am pleased to say that she is planning to offer a new Organic Farming Scheme to assist farmers who wish to convert from conventional to organic production.

"This scheme will provide increased levels of support - including financial assistance - for the organic live stock sector and the organic cereal and horticulture sectors.

"This is an extremely welcome development and I congratulate the Minister on her ongoing commitment to the farming industry." ENDS

NOTES TO EDITOR

Under the scheme, the Department of Agricultural and Rural Development proposes to pay the following amounts to farmers to cover the first five years of conversion to organic production:

  • Horticulture (including top fruit) - £670
  • Arable - £570
  • Other Improved Land - £470

These payments are on a 'per hectare' basis and will be apportioned over the five years.

There are further plans to offer an ongoing post-conversion payment of £30 per hectare per years for such land which is certified organic.

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