SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
«[…] Agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centred rural development and protecting the environment. Right now, our soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity are being rapidly degraded. […] »
Swiss target 2.4: […] Agriculture […] increases resource efficiency, thus helping to reduce Switzerland’s ecological footprint.
Significance of the indicator
The indicator measures the difference between the quantity of nitrogen entering the soil mainly as fertiliser and the quantity of nitrogen leaving the soil in the form of agricultural products. A surplus of nitrogen is a source of air and water pollution. A reduction in the nitrogen surplus produced by agriculture is, therefore, positive for sustainable development.
Eurostat and the OECD have developed a standardised methodology to estimate the nitrogen balance, making international comparisons possible.
The indicator shows the nitrogen balance of agricultural areas. The balance is the difference between the total amount of nitrogen entering the agricultural area in a year (mineral fertilisers, farm manure, biological fixation, atmospheric deposition) and the amount of nitrogen taken from agricultural area in the form of agricultural products (grass, hay, sweetcorn, etc.). A nitrogen surplus exists when the amount of nitrogen in the soil is greater than the quantity of nitrogen extracted from it in the form of agricultural products. These figures are estimated by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) using a calculation method designed by Eurostat and the OECD.
Excerpt from Swiss target 2.4: […] Agriculture […] increases resource efficiency, thus helping to reduce Switzerland’s ecological footprint.
International target 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.