An agreement aimed at promoting the development of organic farming around water catchments was signed with organic farmers in Ile-de-France, the Ministry of Ecology has announced.
The Secretary of State for Environment who attended the signing of this five-year contract said that this was the first in France. The contract between the Seine-Normandy and the organic farmers of Ile-de-France enables the team to encourage conversions to organic farming and to promote these practices, reports Drakkar Online.
The Grenelle of Environment in France aims at increasing the surfaces dedicated to organic farming (6% in 2012 and 20% in 2020) with the recommendation that these surfaces are preferably located on 700,000 hectares of water catchments. An experiment of this kind was conducted in Munich, Germany, with the conversion to organic agriculture across the watershed, and today, there is less than 45% of nitrates compared to the figure ten years ago.
In Ile-de-France, the ground water is polluted and the quality of surface water is not satisfying. This situation is partly due to pollution from agriculture (pesticides and nitrates). In addition, the development of organic farming in this region could help to reduce the imbalance between the offer and the demand for organic products. About 50% of organic products are imported into France and even a higher percentage to Ile-de-France.