(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Organic farming is growing because the number of agriculture as a whole is decreasing

May 11, 2020 – 11:37

The number of agriculture and agricultural workers continues to shrink in Switzerland, as existing ownership is greater through mergers. Organic farming, on the other hand, is increasingly important. Over the past 20 years, almost a third of agriculture in Switzerland has disappeared. Last year, 50,038 businesses with an utilized agricultural area (UAA) covering 1.05 million hectares employed 150,100 people. This corresponds to a decline in agriculture and employees of 1.6% and 1.5% respectively compared to the previous year, the Federal Statistical Office said on Monday. The cantons of Bern (10,254), Lucerne (4,494), St. Gallen (3,904) and Zurich (3,258) still have the most agriculture, although 142 companies in Bern gave up last year. There were also decreases in Zurich (-88), Valais (-89) and Lucerne (-67). The statistical office said the proportion of agriculture with an area of ​​more than 20 hectares has increased to 43% over the past 20 years. In 1999, only a quarter of agriculture was this big. Organic More agriculture is turning organic. Last year 7,284 worked according to organic guidelines, 3.6% more than in 2018. Organic farming is now practiced on 16% of land. In 2019 the majority of agricultural area consists of natural grasslands and grasslands (605,700 hectares or 58% of the total area). Fertile agriculture is practiced in 38% of the area. In addition, 13,400 hectares are vineyards and 7,000 hectares are gardens. The number of dairy cows (-1.7%) and pigs (-4.1%) decreased, while the number of poultry increased (+ 2.5%). The stock of sheep and goats is practically unchanged.

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