SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – More Dutch farmers are switching to organic methods, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.
For example, the amount of land used for organic farming increased by 7.6% between 2016 and 2017 to a total of 56,000 hectares and now accounts for 3.2% of total farmland, the CBS said.
In 2017 some 3.5 million animals were raised in an ecologically sustainable way. Nevertheless, the proportion remains small. Just 2.9% of the entire Dutch stock is now farmed in this way, compared to 2.6 % in 2016.
The increase is down mostly to pigs and goats although the number of free range chickens also grew by 8.3%, to over 3.3 million. That meant organic egg production went up as well to 883 million, an increase of 14.2%.
Organic veg production grew as well, with the potato firmly on top: production more than doubled in 2017 to 60 million kilos compared to 27 million kilos in 2016.
The availability of land for non-greenhouse organic horticulture also grew, by 9.3 % to 3,000 hectares in total in a single year. Most of this land is used to grow pumpkins and courgettes, the CBS said. (DutchNews)