At a glance
- According to the data of the German Federal Statistical Office, the share of area under organic farming of agricultural land increased from 2.9 % to 9.7 % from 1999 to 2022.
- The Federal Government aims to increase the proportion of organically cultivated areas in agricultural land to 30 % by 2030.
- At the growth rate of recent years, this aim is expected to be missed in 2030.
Conventional intensive agriculture causes a range of environmental impacts and is partly responsible for a loss of biodiversity. Organic agriculture is a more environmentally sustainable and ecologically beneficial type of management. The aim is to close nutrient cycles as far as possible and to manage in harmony with nature.
Organic farming does not use any mineral fertilisers. A range of crop rotations with intercropping maintain and support soil organisms and soil fertility. Avoiding the use of synthetic chemical pesticides enhances biological diversity on agricultural land. A more species-appropriate animal husbandry serves animal welfare and ensures acceptance by the general public. Organic agriculture therefore has a pioneering role in sustainable land management.
Assessing the development
The share of organically managed areas has increased from 2.9 % to 9.7 % in the period from 1999 to 2022. According to that, the total area of organic farming has shown a small but steady increase over the period reviewed. In its decision of principle 2022, the German Federal Government agreed to raise the target for the share of organic agriculture from 20% to 30% in 2030. This new target is already included in the Indicator Report 2022. However, Germany has a long way to go to reach the target: even if the increase were to continue at the level of the past years, the 30% target would not be reached in 2030. Thus, it is important to identify obstacles to growth in organic farming and take efficient measures to eliminate them. Planning security and continuous support are needed to increase the willingness of farmers to convert to organic farming on a permanent basis.
The German Federal Statistical Office uses various surveys (including the Agrarstrukturerhebung, Bodennutzungshaupterhebung) to determine the area that is organically farmed. The survey covers organically farmed areas of farms larger than five hectares that are subject to the control procedure of the EU legislation. The reference used to calculate the area share is the agriculturally used area (again from five hectares upwards). A slightly different data set is used by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The indicator covers areas that are managed in accordance with the European Eco-Basis Regulation and are reported to federal state authorities. Small enterprises below a size of five hectares are also included. For the calculation of the share, however, these are related to the total agricultural area (five hectares or more). For methodological reasons, the data of the BMEL therefore show a higher proportion of organically farmed area. The area shares of organically managed land based on BMEL statistics shows a slight increase to 11.2 % for 2022.
More detailed information: ‘Ökologischer Landbau‘ (in German only).