Surface area increases by 500 thousand hectares 

San Jose, August 15th (CSF). – Latin America increased its organic agricultural land by just 500,000 hectares in the last 11 years, according to a comparative study done by IFOAM and FIBL.

The analysis made from publications of The World Of Organic Agriculture from 2005 and 2017 determined that the organic agricultural area of Latin America and the Caribbean increased from 6.2 to 6.7 millon hectares in the last 11 years.

500,000 more hectares of organic surface area for Latin America and the Caribbean may seem insignificant in eleven years if compared to other latitudes where the organic surface area doubled and even quadrupled.  Furthermore, if we look at a report by the European Commission, they place the growth rate of organic cropland at 500,000 ha annually for the old continent.

Despite an apparent delay, the growth dynamics of some Central American countries such as Honduras is striking, which went from 1,769 to 26,892 ha; or the case of Nicaragua which went from 10,750 to 33,621 ha. Also the Dominican Republic jumped from 22.151 in 2003 to 163.936 ha in 2015.

In South America, Peru's area increased from 150,000 to 327,245 hectares and Uruguay grew from 760,000 to 1´307, 421 ha.

Other countries such as Mexico, Argentina and Brazil saw growth or losses of around 100,000 hectares on average without significant changes in their surface areas.  Argentina for example grew from 2,800,000 ha to 3,073,412 ha.  

Regarding North America (the United States and Canada) the area of organic production grew from 1.4 million to 1.6 million ha. This delay could be compared with Latin America if it weren't for the exponential increase of the organic agricultural area in USA, from 930.810 in 2005 to 2,029,327 ha in 2015.

500.000 hectareas dedicadas a la agricultura ecologica mas cada ano en Europa

Lost ground

The organic surface area of Costa Rica went from 13,967 ha in 2003 to 7,819 in 2015; followed by Chile with 646,150 ha for 2003 and 19,932 ha in 2015.  

Those with the most growth 

In the last eleven years Europe increased its surface area by more than 200% from 6.3 to 12.7 million ha, closely followed by Oceania which rose from 11.3 to 22.8 million ha. Spain (1.97 million ha) and Italy (1.49 million ha) have maintained their lead as the countries in Europe with the largest organic surface area in the last 11 years.

In Asia the area grew significantly from 0.7 million ha in 2004 to 4.0 million by 2015; More than 3,000,000.00 new hectares of which 1,609,928 are in China and 1,180,000 ha in India, with the remainder shared among eight other Asian countries. India has the largest number of organic producers: 585 thousand.  

Finally, Africa went from 0.4 million in 2004 to 1.7 million ha in 2015.

To date, there are 50.9 million hectares of organic agricultural land in 179 countries with stark developmental differences between continents.

nl 15/08/17

translated by Jesse Trace