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Publication | 2022

The World of organic agriculture - STATISTICS & EMERGING TRENDS 2022


Organic in the Continents


There were more than 2 million hectares of certified organic agricultural land in Africa in 2020. Africa reported 149 ́000 hectares more than in 2019, a 7.7 percent increase, and nearly 834 ́000 producers. Tunisia was the country with the largest organic area (more than 290 ́000 hectares in 2020), and Ethiopia had the largest number of organic producers (almost 220 ́000). The country with the highest percentage of land devoted to organic farming in the region was the island state of São Tomé and Príncipe, with 20.7 percent of its agricultural area de dicated to organic crops. The majority of certified organic products in Africa are destined for export markets. Key crops are nuts, olives, coffee, cocoa, oilseed s and cotton. Five countries in Africa have legislation on organic agriculture, and five countries are drafting legislation. Six countries have a national standard but lack legislation on the definition of organic farming. Africa saw many important developments in 2021. The Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOA-I) continued to reach out to smallholder farmers. About 1.76 million of them were provided with information and communication materials to enhance their knowledge on adopting organic farming practices. The Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Africa (KCOA) provided support for organic agriculture in all parts of Africa through knowledge management, dissemination and capacity building and market systems development. Organic certification in Africa has gained leverage through a Memorandum of Understanding between the EOA-I Continental Secretariat and the African Organization for Standardization. This memorandum aimed at developing a common continental standard. Preparations for the 5th African Organic Conference have started. This conference will take place in 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda, and is organised by the organic movement in cl ose collaboration with Afronet, the African Organic Network.


The total area dedicated to organic agriculture in Asia was more than 6.1 million hectares in 2020 . There were nearly two million producers, most of whom were in India. The leading countries by area were India (2.7 million hectares) and China (over 2.4 million hectares). Timor-Leste had the highest proportion of organic agricultural land (8.5 percent). (For detailed statistics, see page 192). Twenty countries in the region have legislation on organic agriculture, and six countries are drafting legislation. In Asia, the organic sector continued to develop rapidly. Partly due to COVID-19, consumer awareness of safe, local, and orga nic food increased, with many countries reporting increasing sales for organic products. Many countries in Asia formulated policies and strengthened existing laws to further organic agriculture’s development. While COVID-19 positively affected the mark et in most countries, inspection bodies were negatively affected, having to carry out online inspections and postpone the validity of certificates under the pandemic.

Latin America and the Caribbean

In Latin America, over 270’ 000 producers managed over 9.9 million hectares of agricultural land organically in 2020 . This constituted 13.3 percent of the world’s organic land and 1.4 percent of the region’s agricultural land. The leading countries were Argentina (4.4 million hectares), Uruguay (2.7 million hectares) and Brazil (1.3 million hectares). The highest organic shares of total agricultural land were in Uruguay (19.6 percent), French Guiana ( 11.3 percent) and the Dominican Republic (4.8 percent). Many Latin American countries remain important exporters of organic products such as coffee, cocoa and bananas. In Argentina and Uruguay, temperate fruit and meat are key export commodities. Nineteen countries in the region have legislation on organic agriculture, and two countries are drafting such legislation. Brazil has the largest market for organic products in Latin America. Latin America, especially Peru, was badly hit by the pandemic. A reflection on the effects of the pandemic shows the need for governments, the private sector, producer organisations and community institutions to take a long-term view. It also reveals the necessity of enhancing these groups’ capacities to better respond to multiple threats and systemic risks, to make decisions and to provide services to build inclusive value chains that create employment.