World Agrochemical Network Chinese website reported:156.7 million hectares of land in the EU’s 27 countries are used for agriculture. In 2019, nearly 12.5 million hectares (or 8%of the total area) were used for organic agriculture. However, the EU’s”farm-to-table” strategy aims to put 25%of the agricultural area (39.2 million hectares) into organic production by 2030. This means that they need to add 26.7 million hectares of land on the basis of 2019.
According to the analysis of Professor Mario Carvalho of Évora University and Portuguese farmer Nuno Marques, the conversion of 27%of the agricultural area of the 27 EU countries to organic production will reduce the total agricultural output by 56.13 million tons, as 26.7 million hectares of land will be Converted to organic agriculture, productivity will drop by 60%.
In the case of Portugal, this will lead to a substantial increase in agricultural imports, which in turn will increase the carbon footprint of food.
Affected by the reduction in agricultural production in the 27 EU countries, the increase in the world’s population and the increase in food demand, agricultural production will be transferred to countries that are not subject to the regulations of the EU-27. This may lead to a decline in food security and an increase in the carbon footprint of the food consumed. It may also increase the pressure on other areas on the planet that already have serious desertification problems.
In addition, the price of organic products is twice the price of traditional products. Therefore, the prices of agricultural products worldwide may rise.
What impact will organic agriculture have on the consumption of pesticides and fertilizers?
According to Eurostat, the risk of pesticide use in the 27 EU countries dropped by 17%between 2011 and 2018. The European Union has banned many active substances that are harmful to the environment, and producers are using new pesticides that require very low doses.
Although organic farming has increased to 13 million hectares (8%of the agricultural area) and the use of low-dose pesticides, pesticide consumption remained stable at 360,000 tons from 2011 to 2018. Fertilizer usage between 2008 and 2018 also remained stable at 11.3 million tons.
In short, the consumption of pesticides and fertilizers (which should be reduced due to the development of technology and the increase in the area used for organic agriculture) has actually remained stable.