The topic of healthy eating keeps gaining on the importance and the latest official statistics show that this is not without reason. According to Eurostat, there are still fewer organically cultivated areas in Serbia than in developed countries, but the speed at which both production and the number of producers are growing cannot be ignored.
In 2017, there were 12,423 hectares of organic production in Serbia, while in 2018, there were 19,255 hectares. Economist Miroslav Zdravkovic estimates that this is a huge increase, 43% in just one year, adding that another 13,181 hectares must be converted to organic to reach 1% of total arable land.
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Organic farming in Europe has increased by 34% since 2012, says Eurostat, and the total organic area reached 13.4 million hectares in 2018, 7.5% of the total area used for agricultural production.
Branislav Gulan, a member of the SANU board, says that there are between 6,000 and 7,000 organic food producers in Serbia, but points out that big farms do not engage in organic farming because it is more expensive and generally unprofitable.
“It is more expensive and while offering better quality food, it is more difficult to sell. It is mostly made to order and is often delivered to end-users at home, which also costs,” Gulan adds.
If we look at the total share of the land used for organic production, Ireland is in the first place – almost all organic land in Ireland (96.2%) is used for grazing and more than four-fifths of the total are used for grazing in the Czech Republic and Slovenia. If the pastures are organic, the livestock feeding on them is considering organic, and this is also one of the opportunities how Serbia can increase the value of its national livestock.
This post is also available in: Italiano