Organic Farming a real asset
Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has today voiced support for the organic farming sector.
The Minister emphasised the value of organic farming in response to recently published research, commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which states that there are no significant differences, in respect of nutrient content and health benefits, between organic food and food produced conventionally.
Commenting on the recent debate on the benefits of the organic sector, the Minister said: “Organic farming provides many benefits, not only in terms of biodiversity and our environment, but also in terms of contributing to the quality of our landscape and the beauty of our rural areas. It is also a fact that organic production restricts the use of pesticides, which in turn requires organic farmers to spend time working with the land.”
The Minister added: “My Department currently supports organic farming across the North through the Organic Farming Scheme and the Countryside Management Scheme because we recognise the benefits that it delivers. I believe that organic farming is a real asset to our agri-food industry and that it delivers many benefits to the local food chain.
“We will continue to offer our services to all sectors, including the organic sector, and I wish to re-assure our organic farmers on this point.”
Further information on the Organic Farming Scheme and the Countryside Management Scheme can be found at:http://www.ruralni.gov.uk/index/environment/countryside_management_main/pubs/agri-environment-scheme-leaflet-and-booklets.htm