Fewer Potatoes Produced By Belgian Farmers In 2021

Published online: Aug 04, 2022 Articles Abby Stetina, The Brussels Times
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Final agricultural figures for 2021 show a concerning decline in the production of the nation's (Belgium) favourite root vegetable: potatoes.

The total area for potato production decreased by 7.6 percent, in order to clear the large stocks caused by the Covid-19 crisis. The scarcity of potatoes was larger in Wallonia than in Flanders (-8.5 percent and -6.9 percent respectively) according to a Statbel trend report.

The Belgian statistical office also shared figures for other important Belgian crops, including spelt, flax and winter wheat. The crop of winter wheat rebounded after a sharp decline in 2020, expanding by 6.3 percent in total land used for the crop. However, less flax and spring cereals were sown due to disappointing harvests in 2020.

The report shows that Wallonia and Flanders differed greatly in total outdoor vegetable area production: the large increase in Flanders (+5.5 percent) was offset by the large decrease in Wallonia (-10.2 percent).

Both regions experienced decreases in the production of peas, French beans and spinach. Onions, leeks, Brussels sprouts and chicory roots, however, increased in production.

Decline In Cattle, Pig And Poultry Stocks

The cattle population decreased by 25,000 animals (-1.1 percent) and was felt more significantly in Wallonia. The biggest decrease came from breeding heifers, with a 67 percent decrease. The total pig population in Belgium decreased by 2.8 percent from 2020 figures.

While over 80 percent of the poultry population can be found in Flanders, poultry in Wallonia has seen a marked increase every year since 2012. That being said, the poultry population decreased in 2021 by under 1 percent.