Study: organic agricultural land totals 35 million hectares worldwide

Australia has most organic farmland

About 35 million hectares of agricultural land were certified according to organic standards at the end of 2008, a 3 million hectare increase from the previous year, according to the latest information from The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics and Emerging Trends 2010. Conversion of land to organic farming was strongest in Latin America and Europe.

The greatest share of the global organic surface area is in Oceania (34.7%), followed by Europe (23.4%) and Latin America (23%). Countries with the most organic farmlands include Australia with 12 million hectares, much of which is grazing land, followed by Argentina with 4 million hectares and China with 1.9 million hectares.

The book is published by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and Germany’s SÖL (Stiftung Ökologie & Linotype, or Foundation Ecology & Agriculture) .

The number of organic producers is almost 1.4 million, said Helga Willer of FiBL.

FiBL and IFOAM will present statistics from The World of Organic Agriculture on February 19 at BioFach 2010 in Nuremberg, Germany. BioFach is the world’s largest tradeshow for organic products.

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