While area used for agriculture remained stable, over 1 out of 4 farms disappeared between 2003 and 2013 in the EU, according to information published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the European Union (EU), there were 10.8 million farms in 2013 working 174.6 million hectares of land (the utilised agricultural area). Between 2003 and 2013, slightly more than 4 million holdings disappeared in the EU, while the total area used for agriculture remained almost stable. This means increasing agricultural concentration, with the average area per holding growing by 38%, from 11.7 hectares in 2003 to 16.1 hectares in 2013.
- Regarding agricultural land, France (15.9% of EU total) and Spain (13.4%) were the two Member States with the largest utilised agricultural area in 2013, followed by the United Kingdom (9.9%), Germany (9.6%), Poland (8.3%), Romania (7.5%) and Italy (6.9%). The largest decrease of utilised agricultural area between 2003 and 2013 was registered in Cyprus (-30.1%), followed by Austria (-16.3%) and Slovakia (-11.0%), while the highest increase was recorded in Bulgaria (+60.1% – see country note), followed by Latvia (+26.1%), Greece (+22.4%) and Estonia (+20.3%).
- The average area per holding grew from 11.7 hectares in 2003 to 16.1 hectares in 2013. This upward tr end is noticeable in every EU Member State, except Cyprus . In 2013, the highest average utilised agricultura l areas per holding were registered in the Czech Republic (with 133.0 hectares), the United Kingdom (93.6 ha), Slovakia (80.7 ha), Denmark (67.5 ha), Luxembourg (63.0 ha), France (58.7 ha) and Germany (58.6 ha). In contrast, average areas below 10 hectares per holding were recorded in Malta (1.2 ha), Cyprus (3.1 ha), Romania (3.6 ha), Slovenia (6.7 ha), Greece (6.8 ha) and Hungary (9.5 ha).
- In 2013, 1 in 3 holdings in the EU was located in Romania (3.7 million holdings, or 33.5% of EU total), followed at a distance by Poland (1.4 mn holdings, or 13.2% of EU total), Italy (1.0 mn, or 9.3%) and Spain (almost 1.0 mn, or 8.9%). Between 2003 and 2013, the number of holdings decreased in all EU Member States, except Ireland (+2.9%). Over this ten-year period, t he number of holdings more than halved in Slovakia (-67.1%) and Bulgaria (-61.8%). Significant falls were also observed in Italy (-48.6%), Estonia (-47.9%), the Czech Republic (-42.6%), Lithuania (-36.9%), Hungary (-36.5%), Latvia (-35.4%), Poland (-34.2%) and the United Kingdom (-34.0%).
Thursday November 26, 2015/ EC/ European Union.