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Ecological agriculture explodes in the Valencian Community

05/13/2021 at 9:33 AM CEST

The Valencian Community has seen its organic farming indicators skyrocket over the last year, already having 177,327 tonnes and a turnover of 626 million euros, 20.8% more than the previous year. The cultivated area now reaches 147,000 hectares, which represents 18% of the useful agricultural area of ​​the autonomous community. The stimuli of the II Valencian Plan for Ecological Production have been decisive in promoting the sector.

Of the three provinces, Alicante is the one with the most spectacular results. In 2020 it had a harvest close to 90,000 tons (87,510) in 2020 and 25% of certified area over its total agricultural extension, and it is the one that achieves the best level of yield and commercialization, according to the balance of the Agriculture Committee Ecological of the Valencian Community and the Department of Agriculture.

They are followed closely by Valencia with 86,296 tons, while Castellón stands at 7,621 tons.

If the certified area is taken care of, the impulse of the Valencian stimulus plan has tripled the certified hectares in four years in the province of Castellón, while in Valencia it has risen to 27% in the last year.

By operators (businessmen), Alicante is also the one with the highest year-on-year increase compared to 2019, with 8.9% more, followed closely by Valencia, which rose 8.8%.

In absolute values, however, the province of Valencia tops the table with 2,039 operators, followed by Alicante with 1,190 and Castellón closes with 315. The profitability of the organic sector is almost 400%, according to those responsible for the Generalitat.

Policies to promote and promote organic production have motivated a accelerated increase of 81.2% in certified area and 51.1% in operators, during the period 2016-2020.

The organic farming sector reaches higher levels every year in certified area, operators, billing and associated industry. The year 2020 was once again a record year, with a growth in turnover of 20.8%, reaching 626 million euros in the whole of the Valencian Community, 108 million euros more than in 2019.

The certified area increased by 14.7% between 2019 and 2020 and it already represents 17.9% of the useful agricultural area (two points above the percentage of 2019) with a total of 147,767 hectares.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Mireia Mollà, points out, in this sense, that organic production responds positively to some of the challenges of agriculture such as “obtaining fair prices for producers, generational change or the visibility of women in a traditionally masculinized activity. ‘

The average age of the organic producer is 48 years, while women already represent 31% of operators – 4.5% more than in 2019-.

For his part, the president of CAECV, José Antonio Rico, put on the table the benefits of the ecological certification that is done in the Valencian Community and defined it as “a public good, patrimony of all citizens, which has a greater transparency and independence of action, encouraging the participation and structuring of the sector, applying higher quality and food safety quotas that are now recognized throughout Europe, “he explains.

Spain as a whole occupies the first place in ecological surface throughout the European Union, with a total of 2,246,475 hectares dedicated to this modality. Behind are France and Italy.

The area certified as organic in Spain represents 9.7% of the total useful agricultural area, according to the data of the latest 2020 report, with figures referring to the year 2018.

Characteristics of organic production

Organic farming is based on a series of objectives and principles, as well as common practices designed to minimize human impact on the environment, while ensuring that the agricultural system functions as naturally as possible.

Among its main lines stand out the do not use genetically modified organisms, avoid pesticides and fertilizers, chemical or synthetic. In addition, crop rotation is imposed for the efficient use of resources.

The use of natural resources such as manure for fertilization or feed for livestock produced on the farm itself.

In order to avoid the use of traditional pesticides The producers work with plant and animal species resistant to diseases and adapted to local conditions, in Alicante basically the lack of water.

The cattle are raised in open-air areas and open spaces and organic food.

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