Another £10m to go organic
By FWi staff
AN EXTRA £10 million will be made available to help farmers convert to organic production, the government has confirmed.
The announcement follows criticism from organic promotions groups after money allocated to the governments Organic Farming Scheme quickly ran out.
The popularity of the Organic Farming Scheme, which was launched last April, meant that two years-worth of funding was allocated in just six months.
Critics claimed that the £6.5m originally allocated to the scheme for this year showed that ministers failed to take the scheme seriously.
Many farmers hoping to convert to organic production were left disappointed when it emerged earlier this month that no more money would be available until 2001.
But the extra £10m will be new money for the 2000 budget year, a MAFF spokesman told Farmers Weekly.
A government review of how the organic sector is funded will still take place, and more funding is expected to be announced for 2001.