The Italian biological surface is growing. As emerges from the last “Bio in figures 2022” reportcurated by Ismea and by Ciheam di Bari, in 2021 the Italian organic surface increased by 4.4%, reaching 2.2 million hectares at the end of 2021. The maintenance of this growth rate also in the coming years would allow to reach 2.7 million hectares by 2027, the last year of the CAP 2023-2027, and reach 3 million in 2030, a value close to the Farm to Fork target of 25% of organic land, to be reached by the end of the decade.
Among the various organic crops, the permanent crops are growing above all (+ 3.5% overall), with diversified trends among the different types: citrus groves are reduced (oranges -17.2% and lemons -0.8%) and substantially remain organic apple orchards (-0.4%) and olive groves (+ 0.5%) are stable while vineyards (+ 9.2%) and hazelnut groves (+ 12.5%) are increasing. Areas planted with cereals also grew (+ 2.8%), driven above all by greater investments in durum and soft wheat, while forage crops (-0.7%) and meadows and pastures (-0.8%) were stable.
Olive growing first among perennials
Olive growing remains one of the permanent crops most involved in organic farming, at least in terms of surfaces, so much so that the 247,000 hectares in 2021 represent 48% of the total permanent sector, while it has an 11% share of the total. In absolute terms, therefore considering the total area covered with olive trees, the organic share has reached 22%. At the regional level, the analysis of the top seven regions by area indicates that this value is exceeded only in Calabria and Sicily. In fact, in these two regions on a total of 100 hectares of olive groves, 38 and 30 hectares respectively are organic.
In the last ten years, the progression of the olive-growing area is organic has increased by 77% but with a very differentiated regional distribution.
Campania and Molise have mainly pushed the foot on the accelerator but, among the most traditionally producing regions, Liguria, Tuscany and Basilicata have more than doubled their organic surface. Similar situation also in the North-East with the exception of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
A percentage variation just above the national average also for Puglia and Sicily, while Calabria has increased its surface “only” by 53% (graph 1).
In absolute volume, however, the distribution of the organic olive grove area is particularly concentrated in the main producing regions with the leadership that also in this case belongs to Puglia, with 71 thousand hectares of organic compared to 70 thousand in Calabria, although the impact on total national area of organic olive groves is respectively 28.6 and 28.4%.
Read the complete article on Olivo e Olio n. 5 – September 2022
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