Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to detail the support his Department provides to the organic farming sector.
Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs: My Department offers support for the conversion and management of land to certified organic standards through the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS).
After four annual intake tranches, the EFS is supporting conversion of some 550 ha of land, and management of 2,440 ha of land, to certified organic standards under the Organic Conversion and Management options respectively. Two further intake tranches of EFS are planned for this year and next.
In addition, my officials liaise with Organic NI, which is the sector’s local representative group, on organic standards and related issues.