Organic farming boom in Bulgaria and Croatia
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Bulgaria and Croatia show a boom in growth in organic lands. Photo Oekolandbau.de
According to official statistcs Bulgaria and Croatia have seen the highest rate of expansion in their organic farming sectors in the whole of the EU in recent years.
Latest data from the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat, show that the two countries are the EU member states with highest growing organic farming sectors in the 28-nation bloc. In Bulgaria the growth rate was over 310 % and in Croatia it was 193.4 %. The total area of organic production in the EU-28 grew by 18.7 per cent from 2012 to 2016.
The statistics also show the potential for growth in the organic sector in these two states: they hold the largest shares of areas of land under conversion to fully organic land, which, in Bulgaria is 77.5 % and in Croatia, it was nearly 69 %. „Despite these record growth rates, however, organic farmers in both countries still face challenges compared to their competitors in the older EU member states“, comments balkaninsight.com.
Albena Simeonova, president of Bulgaria’s Association of Bioproducers, says: “In 2009, when we created the association, we were 25 people. Now, the number of registered organic producers is between 7,100 and 7,200 in Bulgaria,“ Croatia had 4,751 certified organic producers in 2017, which was 20 per cent more than the year before.
Romania: number of farms is declining
In Romania meanwhile the total share of organically farmed land dropped by over 20 % between 2012 and 2016, but there were still over 10,000 accredited organic farms in 2016, cultivating about 225,000 hectares in the country, according to the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture. 2012 there were over 25,000 ecological farms in Romania but then the government lowered the subsidies from 1,500 euros per hectare in 2010-2012, to some 200 to 300 euros per farm now. This has discouraged entrepreneurs who face costs that are 30 to 40 % higher.