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Minister of Agriculture Hopes to Promote Organic Farming

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Minister of Agriculture Hopes to Promote Organic Farming

Farm sheep

Photo: Ian Funk.

Only about 1.5 percent of agriculturally usable land in Iceland is certified for organic agriculture, RÚV reports. The percentage is very low when compared to most other countries in Europe. Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Kristján Þór Júlíusson intends to make sure the issue is examined closely with the aim of promoting organic agriculture in the country.

The state of organic agricultural production can be evaluated by three factors: the number of certified producers and processing plants, the area of ​​certified land, and the number of certified farms.

According to the minister, organic producers and processing plants increased from 34 to 60 between the years of 2006 and 2016. Only a very small proportion of Icelandic livestock farming is certified organic. This number reached a peak between the years 2011-2013 but has been decreasing in recent years.

For many years, the land area dedicated to organic farming hovered around 5,000 hectares. It tripled in 2007, mainly due to increased usage of undeveloped land for the collection of wild plants. By the end of 2016, nearly 23,000 hectares were certified for organic land use, or 1.5 percent of all agriculturally usable land in Iceland.

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