The 25% of the permanent crop of the planet is olive groves, with 11.6 million hectares of surface distributed throughout 63 countries of the five continents. This is one of the conclusions of the “International Olive Growing Manual” published in six languages by almost 50 experts and scientists from all around the world, coordinated by Professor Juan Vilar, from the University of Jaén (UJA) with data from different research institutes and international organizations like FAO or COI.
This report explains that of the 150 million square km that the continents suppose, excluding seas and oceans, only 30% (4.400 million hectares), are arable land, while 10%, 1.530 million hectares, are really cultivated. Of these, 77% are rain-fed, and 23% is land with water availability. Among permanent crop, we can find fruit trees, vineyards, cacao, coffee, and olive groves, that together represent 48 million hectares, just 3% of the total land cultivated on the planet.
Olive trees with yellow sky – Vincent Van Gogh
Regarding the olive crop, 72% corresponds to extensive olive groves, while 28% corresponds to olive grove with a greater range of intensification and efficiency. Of the total area of cultivated olive groves around the world, 6.6% is organic, reaching 765,000 hectares. With reference to the final product, 87% of the crops are assigned to olive oil in contrast to the 13% dedicated to table olives.
The greater availability of cultivated land by countries, in order, are the United States, India, Russia, China, Brazil and Australia. However, in the olive sector, Spain, Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Morocco and Turkey would stand out. This study also points out that the largest farm on the planet is located in Australia, while the largest olive farm is located in Tunisia.
Olive trees from Jaen
According to Juan Vilar “olive being the largest permanent crop on the planet is something that will continue to happen for many years, given its annual rate of expansion, which sometimes exceeds 1%, especially in areas where in the past cultivation was nonexistent”.
So, now, are you ready to join us through the product from the largest permanent crop in the world?