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Organic farming area quadruples in 11 years

Home / News / Organic farming area quadruples in 11 years
Home / News / Organic farming area quadruples in 11 years
Organic farming area quadruples in 11 years

The number of operators and farms also increased, according to IbizaPreservation’s 2022 Sustainability Report

Ibiza, 21-07-2023 – For another year running, organic agricultural production in Ibiza increased both in terms of area and the number of operators. The analysis, based on data from the Balearic Council for Ecological Agricultural Production, was released by IbizaPreservation’s Sustainability Observatory, which is currently preparing its 2022 report.

In 2022, the total area registered for organic agricultural production was 1,278 hectares, an increase of 255 hectares compared to 2021, or 25%. Looking back further, a steady rise in organic farming in Ibiza can be seen, going from an area of ​​322.3 hectares 11 years ago to 1,278 hectares in 2022, an increase of 297%.

In addition, the number of registered organic farms also rose in 2022, from 11 to 14 farms.

Another encouraging statistic is an increase of 11.2% in the number of operators, going from 142 to 158. Of this group, 97 people are registered as farmers and 45 as producers. For the first time, the data for 2022 is classified by gender, showing that of the total number of operators, 65% are men and 35% are women, a ratio which reflects traditional male dominance in this sector.

In order to measure the scope of progress in terms of organic surface area, the data can be compared to the Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA), which represents the entire surface of cultivated land and permanent pasture. Of the 8,987 hectares of UAA in Ibiza, 11% is dedicated to organic farming, a percentage that increased by 1.2% since 2021.

The central objective of the European strategy “From Farm to Fork” is that organic production reaches 25% of UAA by 2030. In 2022, the Balearic Islands jointly reached 17.2%, meaning that all the islands will need to maintain yearly increases in order to achieve this objective . The technical coordinator of the Sustainability Observatory, Itziar Arratibel, added that, “The best strategy for Ibiza and for the whole of the Balearics, both from a socioeconomic and environmental point of view, would be attaining 25% of UAA as organic land in each of the individual islands, not only at the Balearic-wide level.”

The Observatory also revealed that, although the data displays an upward trend since 2020, the Ibiza continues to have the lowest percentage of organic production area on the Balearic Islands, in comparison with 17. 5% in Mallorca, 17% in Menorca and 15% in Formentera.

At the municipal level, San José continues to lead with the largest organic production area, with 437 hectares, representing 34.2% of the total. In second place is Santa Eulàlia, with 358 hectares (28%), then San Antonio with a total of 246 hectares (19.2%) and San Juan with 236 hectares (18.5%). There is no longer any organic production in the municipality of Ibiza, where the only 5 hectares registered were lost in 2021. On the other hand, of all the municipalities, San Antonio registered the biggest increase in area from 2021 to 2022, growing by 32%.

If we look at the types of crops, none in particular predominates in Ibiza as the crops are more varied than in the rest of the Balearic Islands, with pastures and fodder being the main crop (29%), followed by forests and harvesting (21%), fallow and green manure (16%), cereals and legumes (8%), nuts (9%), olive groves and vines (4% respectively) and, lastly, vegetables (3%) and tubers (3%).

The Sustainability Observatory welcomed this constant growth both in area and number of operators: “Choosing agriculture and organic farming these days is an act of bravery and one that demonstrates a great commitment to the island and the environment. It has an impact on the quality of the soil and water, and on people’s health,” said Arratibel, who also emphasised that, “Institutions must guarantee and facilitate the necessary resources to support such an essential sector and ensure less dependence on healthy foods from outside the territory.”