At the fourth workshop within the project “CAP for Us“, About 50 participants had the opportunity to learn through examples of good practice how Austria has become one of the largest environmental producers in the European Union.
In the foreground was its easternmost and youngest federal state – Burgenland (Burgenland), in which eco-agriculture is constantly growing. Currently, as much as 31 percent of this production is under the total agricultural area, with an average farm size of 55 hectares.
Let’s just mention that this is already more than the goal of the Green Plan, ie that by 2023, 25 percent of the area in the EU will be under eco production.
The growth, explained the president of the Chamber of Agriculture of Burgenland, Nikolaus Berlakovic, began 40 years ago with the introduction of subsidies for organic agriculture, which in 2020 amounted to 230 euros per hectare for field crops, 450 euros for vegetables, and 700 euros per hectare for fruit growing and viticulture. As far as beekeeping is concerned, the user receives 25 euros per hive (the maximum number of hives for which support can be obtained is 1,000 per farm).
“We are guided by the motto of the CAP, and that is that if a farmer works on environmental protection, he will receive higher premiums. Also, if he wants to redirect his production to ecological, he will receive incentives“, he points out, adding that the support is financed by 60 percent from the state budget, while 40 percent is covered by the province itself.
In Gradišće, as well as in Austria itself, there is a small structure of family farms, and as the president of the chamber said, direct sales from farmers are being “forced”.
The largest part of such production in the country takes place in the interior, where plains predominate, and the most represented is viticulture with 25 percent of the total ecological areas, followed by farming with ten, while fruit growing is present with eight to nine percent.
Of the vegetable crops, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and salads are mostly grown. Although livestock is in the shadows, this federal state produces the most milk in the country, and in the production of chickens they are self-sustaining. However, there is a noticeable decrease in the number of farms that are increasingly being replaced by vineyards.
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Source: Energetski portal Srbije by www.energetskiportal.rs.
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