Croatia Has the Largest Increase in Area under Organic Farming in EU
Croatia tops EU rankings in the increase of organic cultivation of agricultural products. At the end of 2015, organic farming of agricultural products in the European Union covered more than 11 million hectares, which was 21 percent more than in 2010, according to the Eurostat data, which show that the greatest increase in area during this period was achieved by Croatia. In 2010, organic farming in Croatia covered 16,000 hectares, while in 2015 the area increased to nearly 76,000 hectares, which was an increase of 377 percent, reports Lider on October 26, 2016.
A significant increase in the area under organic farming occurred in Bulgaria as well (362 percent), followed by France (61 percent), Ireland (53 percent), Lithuania (49 percent) and Cyprus (48 percent). Area under organic farming increased in all European Union member states except in Great Britain, where such area decreased by 29 percent, and in the Netherlands, where the decrease was 4 percent. In 2015, organic farming in the EU covered 6.2 percent of the total cultivated land area.
The largest share of agricultural land with organic farming was recorded in Austria (20 percent of the total agricultural area, or 552,000 hectares), followed by Sweden (17 percent, or 519,000 hectares) and Estonia (16 percent, or 156,000 hectares). In Croatia, the share at the end of 2015 was 4.9 percent, while at the end of 2010 it was only 1.2 percent. The smallest share of organic farming was recorded in Malta (0.3 percent, or 30 hectares), then in Ireland (1.6 percent, or 73,000 hectares) and in Romania (1.8 percent or 246,000 hectares).
Eurostat notes that organic farming is generally less represented in the plains and similar areas, where more intensive agricultural systems are predominant.