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A pragmatic assessment of government support for organic agriculture in Ireland

Leslie A. Duram


Drawing on a pragmatic approach, this paper provides an analysis of government support for organic farming in Ireland. Varying levels of encouragement and programmes are provided to farmers in their conversion from conventional to organic production, and in their maintenance of organic production. As support policies vary across regions and are linked to European Union legislation, it is challenging to document the many types of support in place. This paper investigates relevant technical, financial, and policy support available to organic farmers in Ireland. As an exploratory study, it develops an assessment of Ireland within eight key categories of organic agricultural support: policy, leadership, technical support, financial support, research, education and information, marketing and promotion, and future outlook. Information and data from the Irish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF), the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Teagasc), and other government and semi-governmental agencies were utilized to assess the level of support in each category. This assessment provides key findings which will allow policymakers, organizations and citizens to better understand the current situation and set a path for the future development of organic farming in Ireland.

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