Organic agriculture has experienced over the past years a significant growth in both area and number of operators, as is clear from the results presented by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Elena Espinosa, based on data collected by the control bodies of the Autonomous Communities.
One of the main indicators of this growth is the number of hectares devoted to organic agriculture, which in 2006 amounted to 926,390 hectares, a 14.7 percent increase over 2005, with 807,569 hectares, which surely puts Spain in second place in Europe, coupled with Germany and Italy behind.
The key feature of the production in Spain is its diversity, the result of the different agricultural sectors, production systems, climates and cultures in our country. This explains the Production Environment that is present in all the Autonomous Communities, adapting each to its specific conditions.
Studying the positive developments in 2006 generally shows that the area has risen in particular in Andalusia. This community exceeds 537,000 acres enrolled. Other significant communities in area of organic production are 70,515 hectares with Aragon, Extremadura and Catalonia respectively 64,557 and 55,355 hectares, Castilla la Mancha with 46,335 hectares and C. Valencia, with 30,797 hectares. Communities with the lowest contribution to the total area, are naturally those of the single-size and smaller, with 6967 hectares Cantabria, Madrid and Canary Islands with just over 5,100 each, with Asturias 3279 hectares and Basque Country with 1015 hectares. However, despite being a minority in the area should emphasize increased 130 per cent in Cantabria and Asturias at 36 percent, recorded at the surface during 2006.
In terms of operators, number 19211, consists of 17,214 for the primary sector, processors and marketers of 1942 and 55 importers. The total increase of 9.7 percent in 2006, is reflected in the three branches which represents a further step in consolidating the sector, it is appropriating more and more of the value added generated by Spanish organic production.
The maximum number of processors continues in Catalonia with a total of 386 industries, Andalusia follows closely with 351 such establishments, with the presence of the same in all the Autonomous Communities.
With regard to the guidance of productive farming in Spain, are the forests and pastures that pose 568,271.89 hectares, the basis for organic livestock, in which the 1125 beef farms, with 81,471 head, assuming a 45 per cent of the total, followed by sheep with 625 farms and 204,169 head.
Major cereals and legumes
Moreover, within the ecological area cultivated, we include cereals and legumes with 113,304 hectares, 13 per cent of the registered, followed by an olive grove with 10 percent of the total. Followed by nuts, with 5 percent and vines, with a two per cent. Other cultures small but critical in its economic dimension is the fruit, citrus, vegetables and tubers.
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Data broken down by type of crop and livestock farms, industrial establishments, topology, etc.. As well as autonomous regions and even provinces, are available on MAPA's website, www.mapa.es , food section.
Industries related to plant production amounted to 1807 in 2006, an increase of nearly 6 percent over the previous year. Industries related to livestock production grew by 27% over the previous year, reached 367 in 2006.
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