The team of the project Organic Agriculture Innovation Platform funded by the The European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme (Key Action 2 – KA 204 – Strategic partnerships for adult education) conducted a research and published a baseline study of the current situation with organic farming in the region that will serve as a ground for providing a wide range of practical knowledge for organic farmers and adult trainers.
With increasing awareness about the benefits of consuming organic, more and more efforts are being observed in the development of organic agriculture in the region. More organic producers are increasingly active in development and promotion of organic methods of production.
Apart from Croatia that has 6.9% organic land, which is little below EU’s average (7.5%), Bulgaria has 2.6%, Serbia has 0.55% and North Macedonia is last with 0.35% of total area under organic farming.
With the rapid growth of organic production worldwide, our research indicates a strong potential for development of organic production in the region.
But, there are challenges that need to be addressed.
One of the major challenges in organic agriculture in the region is lack of knowledge, proper preparations, certified seeds. Another factor is the lack of placement of these products, access to markets and promotion of products. Namely, the price of organic products is twice as high, therefore if there is no secured market, it is completely unprofitable.
The study provides an overview of the state of organic farming in North Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Croatia. It contains the latest statistic on the organic agriculture in the region and comparative analysis between countries.
On the basis of this research, we recommend creating and implementing new national policies for development of organic agriculture, setting systematic technical support and training systems for organic farmers on local level, leasing state-owned agricultural land and subsidizing young farmers and give preference to organic producers, putting more emphasis on marketing and promotional activities for organic products and organic lifestyle and helping farmers to increase their land productivity and also motivate conventional farmers to convert to organic.
You can download the study here