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According to a report by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, the number of people involved in and the amount of land area used for organic agriculture has more than doubled in Hungary between 2015 and 2019.

By the end of last year, organic food was being produced on 303 hectares, or nearly 750 acres, by 5,136 producers.

Fact

Due to climate change and the negative effects of industrial food production, sustainability and environmental considerations are increasingly important for both producers and consumers. Organic agriculture focuses on maintaining a long-term balance between humans and the environment.

By the end of 2019, 5.7% of all agricultural land in Hungary was used for organic agriculture, most of which were meadows and pastures for livestock, and fields of various grains. While diversity has increased among organically farmed animals over the last few years, their share of overall production has remained relatively low; 3% of all cattle and 1.1% of all sheep are farmed organically.

In 2018, 2.8 million people were involved in organic food production and distribution around the world. 15% of them, around 420,000, were in Europe. Almost a quarter of all agricultural land is used for organic food production in Austria, which is the highest in the EU, while more than a fifth is used in Estonia and Sweden.

Within the Visegrád group, the Czech Republic was ahead of the pack in 2018, with almost 15% of all its agricultural land used for organic agriculture. In Slovakia, the same number was around 10%, while Poland lagged behind Hungary’s 4% at the time with barely more than 3%. Still, Hungary had the 8th lowest share among the EU28. However, given the rapid increase seen even in just the following year, this will hopefully change soon.

Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI