Latest indicators confirm the ongoing structural trends in rural areas across the EU. The annual report on Rural Development measures published by the European Commission shows that the number of farms declined by 12% between 2007 and 2010.
The average farm size increased to 14.3 ha (against 12.7 ha in 2007) and close to 70% of all farms in the EU still have less than 5 ha of agricultural land, while full-time jobs in agriculture decreased by 16.5% over the same period.
There has also been an increase in the area under organic farming (+6.9%/year between 2006 and 2011), or in the area under protective/protected forest. The report figures also show a continued improvement in greenhouse gas emissions (though at a slower pace over the last five years) and a decline in nitrogen and phosphorus surpluses and in the concentration of nitrates in surface water.
Wednesday December 18, 2013/ European Commission/ European Union.