Sant Josep is the municipality with the largest number of hectares in organic farming
Ibiza, 19-08-22 – Organic agricultural production in Ibiza has increased both in terms of surface area and the number of people working in it for another year running. The analysis, based on publicly available data from the Balearic Council for Organic Agricultural Production (CBPAE), is reflected in IbizaPreservation’s 2021 Sustainability Report, which is currently being drawn up by the foundation’s Sustainability Observatory, and which this year is being financed by the Consell of Ibiza for the first time.
In 2021, the total area registered for organic agricultural production in Ibiza was 1,023 hectares, an increase of 231 hectares on 2020. This represents a 29% jump, outstripping the average annual increase of between 2% and 3% of recent years. Furthermore, the data show that in the decade between 2011 and 2021, the organic agricultural surface area on the island increased by 217%, from 322 hectares to the aforementioned 1,023 hectares.
If taken against Ibiza’s Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA) – i.e. the total area of cultivated land and permanent pasture land – of the 9,019 hectares of UAA on Ibiza, 8.8% is organic. The Observatory recalls that the European strategy “From Farm to Fork” sets as a central objective that organic production should reach 25% of UAA by 2030. In 2021, the overall Balearic Islands stood at 16.4%, so achieving this target will require that the annual percentage increases are maintained.
At municipal level, Sant Josep leads the island with the largest organic production area, thanks to the registration of 161 new hectares in 2021, reaching 340 ha, i.e. 33.2% of the total area of the island. It is followed by Santa Eulària des Riu, with 289 ha (28.3 %), Sant Joan with 202 ha (19.7 %), Sant Antoni with a total of 187 ha (18.3 %) and, finally, Eivissa with 0.5 % of the surface area, i.e. only 5 ha.
in terms of the types of crop, no one kind in particular predominates in Ibiza, as crops are more heterogeneous than in the rest of the Balearic Islands. Pasture and fodder are the main crop (29 %), followed by forests and harvesting (22 %), fallow land and green manure (12 %), cereals and legumes (11 %), nuts (8 %), olive groves and vines (5 % respectively) and, lastly, vegetables and tubers (3 %).
Together with the increase in surface area, the Sustainability Observatory also highlighted the increase in the number of agricultural operators, both farmers and producers. Last year Ibiza recorded an increase of 2.9% in the number of registered operators, from 138 to 142. 3 new farmers and with 1 new producer in the organic sector.
The Sustainability Observatory sounded a positive note about the data. “We must congratulate all those people who, in a context of a weakening primary sector and despite the difficulties that island life entails, are committed to starting an organic farming business,” said the Observatory’s technical coordinator, Itziar Arratibel. “The institutions must provide the necessary resources to strengthen a sector that is so essential to sustain life and ensure less dependence on food from outside the territory,” she added.
For her part, Gabrielle Gambina, coordinator of IbizaPreservation’s Ibiza Produce project, stressed the need “to promote ecological and regenerative agriculture because of its high impact on improving the quality of the island’s soil, as well as affecting the quality of the water and air.”
“These are improvements that we cannot fail to make and promote because of their high capacity to reverse the effects of climate change and the recovery of biodiversity,” Gambina reiterated.