The number of organic farms in the Czech Republic rose by a third year-on-year to 1,249 at the end of October 2007 from 912 a year ago, data from the Agriculture Ministry showed.The area of land on which organic farmers operate exceeded 7 % of the total area of agricultural land in the country, which is above the European Union average. The growth is fueled by rising demand for organic foodstuffs.
Czech organic farmers operate on almost 307,000 hectares of land, ten percent more against last year. Grasses account for more than 250,000 hectares, organic orchards for 1,500 hectares and vineyards for 215 hectares.
The state will provide Kc 500 m to organic farmers this year, up by Kc 200 m against 2006. Promotion of organic farming will cost the ministry Kc 6 m, 50 % more than last year.
The number of organic food producers in the Czech Republic rose by half to 223 in the monitored period. A shortage of processors of products coming from organic farming causes that most biofood sold in Czech shops is imported.
Czechs spent Kc 760 m on organic food last year, a growth of some 50 % against 2005. Experts say the sum would exceed Kc 3 bn in 2011.