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Organic farming: benefits for the farmer, the consumer and nature

One of the benefits of support for organic farms is that society receives better quality food, and people’s health is improved. (Photo from the archive of “Santarvė” editorial staff)

Until June 21 applications are accepted under the Lithuanian Agricultural and Rural Development 2023-2027. strategic plan (SP) intervention measure “Ecological farming. Continuity responsibilities of organic farming”. They are accepted together with applications for support for agricultural land and other areas and farm animals.

Support for organic farms

“In order to make it easier for farmers, this year SP support measures for organic farms were combined – the ecological systems “Organic farming (fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs and spices)” and “Transition to organic farming” were transferred to the rural development measure “Organic farming . Continuing Commitments of Organic Farming”, identifying two activities: “Transition to Organic Farming”, aimed at promoting the transition from conventional to organic farming practices, and “Organic Farming”, aimed at supporting those already engaged in organic farming, ‒ the innovation of this call is presented by the Ministry of Agriculture of the European Union Affairs and Jurgita Čeponienė, chief specialist of the Department of Payments for Areas of the support policy department. ‒ So in 2024 Areas transitioning to organic production and organic production will be declared and compensatory payments paid under one SP support measure.

Applications for support can be submitted by natural and legal persons who meet the requirements of an active farmer, set out in the rules for the administration and control of the application and direct payments for support for agricultural land and other areas and farm animals. The area eligible for support must be at least 1 ha, consisting of fields of at least 0.1 ha. It should be noted that the area that exceeds the limit of 300 ha will be supported by 85%.

J. Čeponienė reminds that the rural development measures “Ecological farming. In the implementation rules of “Continuing Obligations of Organic Farming”, the number of certified farm animals kept for those declaring certified perennial grasses has been changed from at least 0.3 SG per ha to 0.1 SG per ha. With the area declared under this rural development measure, there is an opportunity to additionally participate in two more ecological systems: “Use of certified seed”, “Replacement of arable land with meadows, their maintenance and care”. Also, the amounts of ecological compensation payments in 2024. increases by about 15-16 percent.

Compensatory payments are determined according to activities

Support helps farms

“Many of the country’s organic farms operate at a loss, so compensation payments save them from bankruptcy,” says Saulius Daniulis, deputy chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Organic Farms, who is developing an organic grain farm. ‒ When declaring crop areas, I will definitely fill out an application for support under the rural development measure “Ecological farming. Continuity responsibilities of organic farming”. However, this support is beneficial not only to the farmer, but also to society as a whole.”

According to him, support for organic farms promotes sustainable development and efficient use of natural resources such as water, soil and air. Contributes to halting the loss of biodiversity and increasing it. Improves public needs related to food and health. Therefore, it is very important not only to support existing organic farms, but also to encourage the country’s farmers to abandon chemical farms.

According to the data of the National Payment Agency, in 2023 according to the rural development measure “Ecological farming. 2,093 applications were submitted for “Continuing Commitments of Organic Farming”. It should be mentioned that last year, organic farms also submitted applications according to the ecological systems intended for them (“Transition to organic farming” – 1061 applications, “Organic farming (fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs and spices)” – 658 applications).

for No. 2024/12

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– 2024-05-09 07:22:43

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