Archive:Agricultural census in Slovakia

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This article is part of a series of country-specific essays on the results of the European Union (EU) Farm structure survey (FSS) 2010. The FSS collects information on the structural characteristics of agricultural holdings (land use, livestock and labour force) and is carried out by all European Union Member States every 10 years as an Agricultural census, with two or three additional, intermediate sample surveys carried out in-between. The Agricultural census 2010 was the first one to be conducted in Slovakia after the country’s accession to the EU in May 2004. This analysis of farm structure includes a comparison with the FSS 2000. Although the reference years of the Agricultural census in Slovakia were 2001 and 2010 respectively, the common designation is Agricultural census 2000 and 2010.

In Slovakia, the FSS 2000 and the Agricultural census 2010 were carried out using different thresholds[1]. To overcome this methodological issue and draft the present article, the 2000 values were filtered using the 2010 thresholds. Accordingly, the 2000 figures mentioned throughout this article and presented in the tables, or available through hyperlinks, differ from those in the Eurostat online database. Nonetheless, hyperlinks to the online database are also provided throughout the article.

Table 1: Farm structure, key indicators, Slovakia, 2000 and 2010
Source: Eurostat (ef_kvaareg) (ef_ov_kvaa) (demo_pjan) and FSS 2000 and 2010
Table 2: Farm structure, key indicators, by NUTS 2 regions, Slovakia, 2010
Source: Eurostat (ef_kvaareg) (ef_ov_kvaa) and FSS 2000 and 2010
Figure 1: Number of holdings and utilised agriculture area (UAA) by UAA size classes, Slovakia, 2010 (%)
Source: Eurostat (ef_kvaareg) (ef_ov_kvaa)
Table 3: Economic size of the farm by standard output size classes, Slovakia, 2007 and 2010 (EUR)
Source: Eurostat FSS, 2007 and 2010
Figure 2: Number of holdings by main type of farming, Slovakia, 2010 (%)
Source: Eurostat (ef_kvftreg)
Figure 3: Standard output by main type of farming, Slovakia, 2010 (%)
Source: Eurostat (ef_kvftreg)
Figure 4: Utilised agricultural area by land use, Slovakia, 2000 and 2010 (%)
Source: Eurostat (ef_lu_ovcropaa) (ef_oluaareg)
Table 4: Utilised agricultural area by land use, Slovakia, 2000 and 2010
Source: Eurostat (ef_lu_ovcropaa) (ef_oluaareg)
Figure 5: Livestock by main types, Slovakia, 2000 and 2010 (1000 LSU)
Source: Eurostat FSS, 2000 and 2010
Table 5: Number of holdings with livestock by LSU size class, Slovakia, 2000 and 2010
Source: Eurostat FSS, 2000 and 2010
Table 6: Agricultural labour force, Slovakia, 2000 and 2010
Source: Eurostat FSS, 2000 and 2010
Figure 6: Sole holders by gender, Slovakia, 2000 and 2010 (%)
Source: Eurostat FSS, 2000 and 2010
Table 7: Utilised agricultural area by type of tenure, by NUTS 2 regions, Slovakia, 2010
Source: Eurostat (ef_mptenure)
Table 8: Number of holdings with cattle and places by type of animal housing, Slovakia, 2010
Source: Source: Eurostat (ef_pmhouscatlaa)
Table 9: Number of holdings by other gainful activities, by NUTS 2 regions, Slovakia, 2010
Source: Eurostat FSS 2010
Table 10: Organic farming, number of holdings and utilised agricultural area, Slovakia, 2010
Source: Eurostat FSS 2000 and 2010

Main statistical findings

Key indicators

As shown in Table 1, 24 460 agricultural holdings were recorded in Slovakia in 2010, which was slightly more than in the Czech Republic (22 860) but fewer than in Cyprus (38 860). About 18 400 farms ceased their activities in Slovakia over the inter-census period, a decrease of 43 %.

The utilised agricultural area (UAA) also decreased between the two reference years, although at a lower rate (-12 %). Accordingly, there were 1.9 million hectares of agricultural land in 2010, covering about 39 % of Slovakia's territory, which was 255 020 ha less than in 2000.

In Slovakia, a fairly limited number of holdings covered a large agricultural area in 2010, a characteristic which was shared by the Czech Republic. As a result, the average area per holding in Slovakia (77.5 hectares per farm) was the third highest among EU Member States.

The number of people regularly working in the agriculture sector dropped by about 53 % (see Table 1), as about 101 600 people stopped working on farms over the period under analysis. As a result, the agricultural labour force represented only 3.4 % of the Slovak active population[2] in 2010.

In terms of livestock units (LSU), the farm animal population decreased by about one third (-306 270 LSU) from 974 610 LSU in 2000 to 668 340 LSU in 2010; within the EU-28, Lithuania (900 080 LSU) and Slovenia (518 480 LSU) recorded similar values, while the Czech Republic reported a much higher figure (1.7 million LSU).

Regional key indicators

Table 2 presents the key indicators by NUTS 2 regions, providing an insight into the local characteristics of Slovak agriculture. It reveals two major patterns: the significance of the territory of Western Slovakia (Zapadne Slovensko), which recorded the highest values for almost every indicator analysed, and the marginal importance of the Bratislava region (Bratislavsky), which reported the lowest figures.

In terms of the number of holdings, the region of Central Slovakia (Stredne Slovensko) registered the highest share (37 %), with 9 130 farms reported within its borders. Zapadne Slovensko recorded the second highest value (8 170), corresponding to one third of the entire population of farms, while the metropolitan region of Bratislava accounted for only 2.2 % (550 farms).

The region of Zapadne Slovensko was the most important in term of agricultural area, with 812 180 hectares or 43 % of the total. Eastern Slovakia (Vychodne Slovensko) accounted for a further 29 % (541 480 ha), while the capital region of Bratislava reported the lowest share (4 %) with only 75 810 ha of UAA in 2010 (-5.5 % compared to 2000).

Zapadne Slovensko registered the highest population of livestock (318 640 LSU) in 2010, 48 % of the total, despite a decrease of 31 % (-142 510 LSU) compared with 2000. As shown in Table 2, the region of Stredne Slovensko recorded 187 450 LSU, the second highest share (28 %). At the other end of the scale, the capital region of Bratislava accounted for 4 %, as only 26 130 LSU were registered within its borders in 2010 (-24 % compared with 2000).

In terms of the agricultural labour force, the region of Zapadne Slovensko was by far the most significant, with 40 % of those regularly working on farms recorded within its territory. Stredne Slovensko also registered a notable share (31 %), while the share of the capital region of Bratislava was marginal (4 %).

The capital region of Bratislava recorded a value about twice as large as the national average for the average area of farms – 137.8 hectares per farm – confirming its peculiarity within the structure of Slovak agriculture

Agricultural holdings

Figure 1 provides an overview of the population of farms by size classes, and illustrates the irregular nature of Slovak agriculture, where a minority of farms (9 %) owned the vast majority (91 %) of the agricultural area. In absolute terms, 2 210 agricultural holdings – farms with 100 hectares or more of UAA – farmed 1.7 million hectares of agricultural area in 2010. At the other end of the scale, 22 250 holdings – those with less than 100 hectares of agricultural area – covered only 169 020 hectares of UAA.

This phenomenon was also observed in the Czech Republic, although in Slovakia it was more prominent. This distribution of land, with many small farms sharing a low percentage of agricultural land and a few large holdings farming the vast majority of the UAA, explains the very high average area per holding registered in Slovakia in 2010.

From 2000 to 2010 the average area per farm in Slovakia changed from 50.2 ha to 77.5 ha. This shows the reinforcement of the concentration of agricultural land in terms of management, which in part is due to the reduction in the number of holdings.

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level for 2000 and 2010

Economic size of the farm

As shown in Table 3, the economic size of Slovak agricultural holdings was EUR 1 731 million; among the other EU Member States, Bulgaria (EUR 2 537 million) and Lithuania (EUR 1 526) recorded similar values, while the Czech Republic reported a much higher figure (EUR 3 852 million). The economic size of Slovak agriculture – calculated by adding all the standard output (SO) per hectare of crop and per head of livestock of the farms – increased by 38 % between the two reference years, a rise which is mainly attributable to the largest class of farms, whose SO grew by 52.2 % (+ EUR 456 million) over the inter-census decade.

The structure of Slovak agriculture in economic terms showed that the largest class of farms – holdings with EUR 500 000 or more of SO – accounted for a large share (77 %) of the total economic value of the country in 2010 (70 % in 2000). On the other hand, the remaining classes of farms together accounted for 23 % of the economic size of the country (30 % in 2007).

Among the Slovak regions, Zapadne Slovensko was the most important, accounting for more than half of the country’s SO (56 %) in 2010. The regions of Stredne Slovensko (18 %) and Vychodne Slovensko (17 %) recorded very similar values, while the capital region of Bratislava acconted for only 8 %.

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level for 2010 and 2000

Agricultural holding by main type of farming

Taking into account the number of holdings and the type of farming, farms specialised in general field cropping were the most common (see Figure 2) accounting for 22 % of the entire population of farms. The second most common type of holding was farms specialised in dairying (18 %), followed by holdings dedicated to field crops and grazing livestock combined (12 %) and farms specialised in sheep, goats and other livestock (11 %).

In terms of economic size, the ranking is different and indicates the existence of three main types of production, which together accounted for 53 % of the total SO in 2010: agricultural holdings dedicated to field crops and grazing livestock combined (22 %), farms specialised in cereals, oilseed and protein crops (20 %) and holdings dedicated to dairying (10 %).

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level for 2010

Land use

The utilised agricultural area (UAA) is the total area used by the holding, regardless of the type of tenure or whether it is used as a part of common land. Generally, it is taken up by arable land, permanent grassland and meadow, permanent crops and kitchen gardens.

In Slovakia, the agricultural area consists essentially of arable land and permanent grassland and meadows, which together accounted for 99 % of the country’s UAA in 2010 – the same share as in 2000. However, the area dedicated to arable land gained 3 450 hectares, while permanent grassland lost 250 850 ha over the inter-census period.

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level for 2000 and 2010

Arable land

In Slovakia, arable land consists mainly of cereals, industrial crops and fodder crops. Cereals were the main component, covering 707 290 hectares and accounting for 37.3 % of agricultural land in 2010 – although their area fell by 110 740 hectares between the two reference years. As shown in Table 4, industrial crops (282 890 ha) and fodder crops (266 730 ha) recorded very similar values and both registered gains compared with2000: +95 690 hectares and +15 280 hectares respectively.

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level for 2000 and 2010

Permanent grassland

The area of permanent grassland and meadow fell over the period under analysis from a share of 36.4 % to 28 %. Among its components, the area dedicated to pasture and meadow lost about 312 300 hectares, while rough grazing gained 46 590 hectares.

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level for 2000 and 2010

Livestock

Statistics on livestock use two different units of measurement: the number of head (number of animals) and livestock units (LSU), the latter of which allows comparison between different types of livestock.

As shown in Table 5, 668 340 LSU were reported in Slovakia in 2010, a 31.4 % decrease compared with 2000 (- 306 270 LSU). In relative terms, there were 0.12 LSU per inhabitant; the corresponding value was higher in 2000 (0.18 LSU per inhabitant), as the decrease in the livestock population was sharper than the fall in the number of people.

Cattle were by far the most important livestock with 343 410 LSU (see Table 5), or half of the Slovak population of farm animals in 2010. Pigs recorded the second highest share (21.5 %), even if they registered a sharp decrease compared with 2000 (- 57.5 %). In contrast, the number of poultry remained quite stable over the years, though in relative terms they gained importance, with their share moving from 14 % in 2000 to 20 % in 2010.

As observed in many other EU Member States, in Slovakia also the number of holdings with livestock decreased over the decade 2000-2010. In absolute terms, about 21 200 farms with livestock ceased their activities or sold their livestock; hence, the ratio between holdings with farm animals and agricultural holdings decreased, from 92 % in 2000 to 75 % in 2010. On the other hand, since the fall in the LSU (-31.4 %) was less sharp than the decrease in the number of farms with livestock (-53.2 %), the average number of LSU per farm increased, from 25 in 2000 to 36 to 2010.

Among the Slovak regions, Zapadne Slovensko hosted the highest number of cattle (139 620 LSU) and accounted for 41 % of the entire population of farm animals. As regards pigs and poultry, the region of Stredne Slovensko recorded the highest values, with 55.2 % of pigs and 46.3 % of poultry recorded within its borders in 2010.

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level for 2010 and 2000

Labour force

As shown in Table 6, 90 960 people were working on Slovak farms in 2010, a 53 % drop compared with 2000. This was among the lowest values reported within the EU-28. If the annual work unit (AWU) is used to measure the agricultural labour force, the decrease is very similar: from 117 840 AWU to 54 210 AWU (-54 %).

In terms of sole holders, the gender distinction slightly decreased, as the share of female sole holders moved from 14 % in 2000 to 16 % in 2010.

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level on holders' age and gender for 2010 and 2000

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level on type of labour force for 2010 and 2000

Management practices

Type of tenure

In contrast to the majority of EU Member States, Slovak agricultural land is generally (88.1 %) farmed by tenants (see Table 7); only a small share (11.9 %) was actually found to be farmed by landlords in 2010. Furthermore, there is no agricultural land utilised in partnership by the landlord and the sharecropper under a written or oral share-farming contract in Slovakia.

Animal housing

In 2010, Slovakia was among the EU Member States with the lowest number of farms with cattle with 9 310 holdings farming 460 920 head of cattle. Nonetheless, the number of places (484 390) slightly exceeded the number of head of cattle in Slovakia, explaining why the related percentage was found to be more than 100 (see Table 8).

In terms of the number of holdings, the type of housing where animals are tied stable with solid dung and liquid manure was by far the most common: it was recorded in 8 480 holdings (91.1 %) in 2010. The most common type of housing for cattle in terms of the number of places was that where animals are free to move with solid dung and liquid manure (376 310 places).

Other gainful activities

As shown in Table 9, there were 1 450 holdings with other gainful activities in Slovakia, among the lowest recorded within the EU-28 in 2010. Accounting for about 6 % of the total population of holdings, these farms recorded activities other than farm work, directly related to the holding and having an economic impact on the farm.

Information on other gainful activities was collected by eleven category types depending on their characteristics – one holding could register more than one activity.

Among the Slovak regions, Zapadne Slovensko recorded the highest number of farms with extra source of income (590) and accounted for 41 % of the entire population of farms with other gainful activities. In Slovakia, the most common extra source of income was contractual work – recorded in 700 farms – which could take the form of contractual agricultural work (530 farms) and contractual non-agricultural work (350 holdings).

See detailed data at NUTS 2 level for 2000

Organic farming

Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It is based on the minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain or enhance ecological harmony.

Over the inter-census decade, the UAA under organic farming increased steadily in Slovakia, accounting for 6 % of the total agricultural area in 2010. Nonetheless, organic farming was practiced by only 1 % of agricultural holdings in 2010.

See detailed data at Nuts 2 level for 2010, 2007, 2005, 2003 and 2000

Data sources and availability

Methodological notes Slovakia – Agricultural census 2010

The Agricultural Census 2010 was the first to be carried out in Slovakia after the country’s accession to the EU in May 2004. However, the previous exhaustive Farm Structure Survey – conducted in 2000 – was already fully harmonized with EU regulations, thus comparison between the two waves is possible. The responsible body was the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, which collected information through its regional offices.

Survey on agricultural production methods (SAPM)

In 2010 a unique survey was carried out together with the Agricultural census, the Survey on agricultural productions methods (SAPM). This survey collected data at regional level needed to establish agri-environmental indicators as indicated in COM final 508/2006 and to evaluate the greening of the Common agricultural policy.

Data were collected according to the specifications listed in Annex V of the above mentioned regulation, namely data on tillage methods, soil conservation, landscape features, animal grazing, animal housing, manure application, manure storage and treatment facilities and irrigation.

In Slovakia, the SAPM was conducted as an exhaustive survey using the same thresholds applied for the Agricultural census 2010. Accordingly, the smallest holdings, which all together contributed less than 2 % of the total UAA and fewer than 2 % of the total number of livestock, were not included in the target population.

Reference period

Information was collected with reference to the 1st November 2009 – 31th October 2010 timeframe. In particular, data on livestock refer to the 31st October 2010, while information on rural development, landscape features and irrigated area was collected with reference to the three years prior to the survey (2008, 2009 and 2010).

Threshold for agricultural holdings

In compliance with EC Regulation 1166/2008 of 19 November 2008, the target population included all agricultural holdings with at least one hectare of UAA. Moreover, holdings falling below this threshold but complying with a set of different physical thresholds (related to the areas of certain types of crops or head of livestock) were also included in the target population of both surveys. The thresholds for FSS 2010 were changed from the previous threshold of 0.5 ha of UAA to 1 ha of UAA. With this new threshold the survey still covered 98% of the UAA and 98% of the livestock in Slovakia. The data from FSS 2010 and previous years is not comparable with previous editions of the survey when it comes to the variables related to the number of holdings and to the characteristics linked to the labour force and the holder. In this article, data from previous surveys was recalculated using the same threshold criteria as those used in the FSS 2010.

Common land

Common land is land that does not directly belong to any agricultural holding but on which common rights apply. It can consist of pasture, horticultural or other land. The treatment of common land used by an agricultural holding might differ from country to country.

In Slovakia common land is non-existent.

Geo-reference of the holding

Information on the location of the farm was provided by the farmers and refers to the place where the main part of the production takes place. Once the data were collected, they were verified on the cadastral territory of the municipality and rounded using a 5 by 5’ grid for confidentiality reasons.

Economic size

From FSS 2007 onwards, the standard output (SO), a new classification of the economic size of the holding, is used. The SO has replaced the standard gross margin (SGM) used before. Nonetheless, for comparability reasons, in FSS 2007 both classifications are available.

Other methodological issues

Comparability between FSS 2000 and FSS 2010

In 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007, Slovakia conducted the Farm Structure Survey using thresholds lower than those employed for the Agricultural census 2010. In order to draft the present article and compare the FSS 2000 with the Agricultural census 2010, the 2000 dataset was filtered using the thresholds employed in 2010. Therefore, the 2000 figures mentioned within this article and presented in the tables or available through hyperlinks differ from those in the Eurostat online database. Nonetheless, hyperlinks to the online database are also provided throughout the article.


Context

European Commission Rural development policy aims to improve competitiveness in agriculture and forestry, the environment and the countryside, as well as to improve the quality of life in rural areas, and to encourage the diversification of rural economies.

As agriculture has been modernised and the importance of industry and services within the economy has increased, agriculture has become much less important as a source of jobs. Consequently, increasing emphasis is placed on the role farmers can play in rural development, including forestry, biodiversity and the diversification of the rural economy, in order to create alternative jobs and provide environmental protection in rural areas.

The FSS continues to adapt in order to provide timely and relevant data to help analyse and follow these developments.

See also

Further Eurostat information

Publications

Main tables

Structure of agricultural holdings (t_ef)

Database

Structure of agricultural holdings (ef)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)

Other information

  • Regulation 1166/2008 of 19 November 2008 on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods and repealing Council Regulation 571/88
  • Regulation 1200/2009 of 30 November 2009 implementing Regulation 1166/2008 on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods, as regards livestock unit coefficients and definitions of the characteristics

External links

Notes

  1. The full description of the thresholds used in 2010 and the differences with the ones used in the previous waves of the FSS (2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007) is presented in the National Methodological Report 2010: page 10.
  2. A value calculated over the total number of active people aged 15 to 64, as reported by the 4th quarter 2010 of the EU Labour force survey (LFS) Population by sex, age, nationality and labour status (1 000)