Over €6.8m in Organic Farming Scheme balancing payments will be in farmers' bank accounts over the next few days, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett has announced.

Over 85% of farmers in the scheme are receiving it this week.

Minister Hackett said her Department will continue to process as a matter of urgency all remaining cases for payment as they meet scheme criteria.

"The timely processing of payments is a key priority for my Department. I know how crucial payments are, especially after the difficult winter we have had," she said.

Organic Processing Investment Grant scheme

Minister Hackett went on to remind everyone that the Organic Processing Investment Grant scheme is currently open, with a 60% grant rate to invest in processing facilities.

"By investing in organic processing capacity through this grant scheme, we are investing in the value of the primary producers’ product. The land area in organics has trebled in the last three years. As more and more farmers convert to organics, the economic advantages of farming organically are plain to see. These OFS payments are a key support measure, and I would encourage all farmers to have an open mind about their farming enterprise, to crunch the numbers and consider whether it makes sense for them too to become an organic farmer," she said.