POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - POLITICS

Green transition

Organic farming progress in 2021 too slow



Unless a revolution in farming practices occurs over the next 2 years, Luxembourg is unlikely to meet its own target for 20% of organic farmlands.  Photo: Shutterstock

Unless a revolution in farming practices occurs over the next 2 years, Luxembourg is unlikely to meet its own target for 20% of organic farmlands.  Photo: Shutterstock

Dedicating 20% of Luxembourg’s total agricultural land for organic farming by 2025. This was the goal set by agricultural minister Romain Schneider (LSAP) in March 2020. Nearly two years later, new numbers suggest that aim might be missed.

Over 2021, 1,387 hectares of agricultural land switched to organic practices, revealed the minister in answer to a parliamentary question on 16 December. 33 businesses made the change this year, a steep increase in comparison to the 10 (+2 beekeepers) new participants in 2020, though 11 of those 33 are only partly switching practices.

The target is a part of the PAN-Bio 2025 plan presented in March 2020, to make the grand duchy’s farming sector more organic.

Regardless, the growth in organic farming is too slow to meet the 2025 target. In 2020, only 1,5% of meat production was organic, for instance, while 1,3% of milk was organic. Eggs (18,80%), honey (15,03%), fruit (23,14%) and vegetables (35,36%) see the highest proportion of organic production. Seeds (2,4%). And grapes (2,6%), which alongside meat and milk, are more important contributors to Luxembourg’s agriculture, are also far from meeting the 20% mark.

Though the exact percentage of organic farming land cannot be established for the year 2021 yet, Schneider had last year remarked that 5,18% of the grand duchy’s land fitted the necessary criteria. A growth of 7% but that covered less than 1% more of the total farming land, outlined Delano’s sister publication Paperjam at the time. Currently, 7,892 hectares are organic according to guidelines, though some counted are still in a transition phase.

Luxembourg’s agricultural sector had earlier this month been accused by ecological organisations Greenpeace Luxembourg, Mouvement écologique and natur&ëmwelt of not doing enough to make its future agricultural strategy sustainable.