Wales: Farmers thinking of going organic should act now
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
An application window for the Welsh Organic Farming Scheme is open until March 20, 2009, and any farmer who has recently begun conversion, or is thinking of doing so, should contact their Divisional Office or Organic Centre Wales as soon as possible to ensure that they are considered for support. Minister for Rural Affairs Elin Jones has announced that farmers who underwent conversion before her written statement of 22 October 2008, in which she announced an extra 6.8 million £ support for the expanding organic farming sector in Wales, could apply for Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) support in the window of March 2 to 20,2009. Those people who were thinking of converting their farms in the future are invited to send expressions of interest. Farmers who converted last year since the SAF claim, have extended their holdings, or plan to convert any land to organic farming in the next few years should contact their WAG divisional offices for an application form. New converters must submit a conversion plan with their expression of interest, and Tony Little at OCW may be able to offer some support with this.
“Don’t miss this chance to register your interest in the scheme” said Sue Fowler, acting Director of Organic Centre Wales. “It is important that the Welsh Assembly Government knows how much interest there is likely to be in the scheme in the next few years.” The Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) is an agri-environment scheme that offers payments to farmers to help them convert and maintain their farm under organic management to benefit the environment. It is a key part of the current Organic Action Plan for Wales, one of the aims of which is to increase the area of agricultural land in Wales under organic management to 10 – 15 % by 2010. The OFS is funded by the EU and the Welsh Assembly Government as part of the 2007-2013 Rural Development Plan (RDP) for Wales. To be eligible for payments, farms need to be certified as organic by a recognised organic certification body and stay certified for the duration of the scheme.
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