A free information seminar will take place later this month to provide organic farming information to horticultural growers.

National Organic Training Skillnet (NOTS) has partnered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Organic Unit to facilitate the information session on the Ogranic Farming Scheme (OFS) and its related benefits.

Minister for State at DAFM with responsibility for organics, Pippa Hackett announced recently that 1,050 additional farmers will participate in the OFS this year.

This latest tranche of the OFS means the land area farmed organically will now be approximately 225,000ha (5%) with over 5,000 farmers involved, according to the latest figures released by DAFM.

Organic farming seminar

Ireland’s Climate Action Plan has a target of 10% of land area to be farmed organically by 2030. Minister Pippa Hackett will give the opening address at the information seminar.

The information day takes place on Thursday, February 29, at the County Arms Hotel, Birr, Co. Offaly starting at 10:00a.m and finishing at 4:00p.m with lunch included.

The in-depth information day will feature contributions from DAFM staff, the Organic Growers of Ireland, Teagasc, the Agricultural Consultants’ Association (ACA) and organic growers.

Its aimed at growers, gardeners, market gardeners, farmers, processors, or retailers with an interest in organic horticulture.

There will be a dedicated question and answer segment after each presentation, and an interactive workshops with key stakeholders.

Sessions / discussion topics will include:

  • Opening address by Minister Pippa Hackett;
  • Setting up and running a small market garden by Jim Cronin;
  • The steps to joining the Organic Farming Scheme;
  • Discussion of the DAFM €8,000 turnover threshold;
  • Sourcing an advisor and key benefits;
  • What is an FBO number and how do you get it?;
  • Applying for a DVO number, what it is and why you need it?;
  • Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) application, what is involved and how to achieve it?;
  • Putting together an organic business plan;
  • What other supports are available;
  • Workshops related to the above topics, there will be horticulture and advisory experts there to answer your questions and assist with dissemination of information.