Organic farming continues to grow in Switzerland

Smaller farms under 30 hectares are most likely to disappear © Keystone / Christian Beutler

One in six of Switzerland’s almost 50,000 farms has turned to organic farming, according to a census for 2022.

This content was published on May 9, 2023

The total number of farms decreased by 550 to 48,344 last year, the Federal Statistical Office said in a statementExternal link on Tuesday. Together, these farms covered 1,042,000 hectares and employed 149,600 people, with more and more farms (7.2%) being run by women.

The number of farms dropped the most in cantons Nidwalden, Ticino and Zurich, the report said. Smaller farms under 30 hectares are most likely to disappear; the number of farms with 30 hectares or more, on the other hand, increased. On average, a farm cultivated 21.6 hectares.

Organic farming is going from strength to strength, the statistical office said. Last year there were 7,819 such farms in Switzerland, 149 more than the previous year. It was particularly popular in western Switzerland. The average area of an organic farm was 23.8 hectares.

Soybean cultivation increased by 30%, while the share of cereals, potatoes and sugar beet remained more or less stable. In livestock production, poultry is on the rise, while the number of cattle and pigs remained almost unchanged and the number of dairy cows decreased slightly.

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