One-quarter of agricultural land in the EU will be under organic farming by the year 2030, according to the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy, which was released today, Wednesday, May 20. The aim of this, according to the strategy, is to maintain productivity; increase soil fertility and biodiversity; and reduce the footprint of food production. “Organic farming in particular holds great potential for farmers and consumers alike. The sector creates jobs and attracts young farmers,” the strategy notes. “To make the most of this potential, at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land must be organically farmed by 2030.”
According to Eurostat, the European Commission body for statistics, 7.5% of EU agricultural land was under organic farming in 2018. In the same year, just 2.6% of agricultural land in Ireland specifically was farmed organically. To achieve this change, the commission will use measures under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), as well as an “action plan” on organic farming. As well as increasing the amount of land under organic farming, the EU will also seek to increase the land under protection in the EU to 30% of all land – from the current figure of 26% – by 2030.
The EU’s goal by 2030 is to have zero pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus flows from fertilisers. The strategy will look to reduce nutrient losses by at least 50%, while ensuring that there is no deterioration in soil fertility. To reverse what is described as the “alarming decline” of some bird and insect species, the strategy advocates a 50% reduction in the overall use of – and risk from – chemical pesticides by 2030, which is also in line with the Farm-to-Fork strategy. Specifically, a 50% cut will apply to the use of pesticides deemed more hazardous, as part of the 50% cut in the use of all pesticides.
Source: Agriland, May 20, 2020