Agriculture: five figures to remember in a rapidly changing sector

The French agricultural sector is experiencing repeated difficulties. On the occasion of the International Agricultural Show, return in figures and graphics to better understand the characteristics of French agriculture.

The international agricultural fair is held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center from February 24 to March 4. It attracts as every year thousands of visitors, politicians from all sides and representatives of the agricultural world. The opportunity to come back in a few figures on this economic sector that regularly goes through periods of crisis.

70.7 billion euros
This is the value of agricultural production both animal and plant in 2016. Plant production accounts for nearly two thirds of agricultural production according to data from the Agreste, the statistical service of the Ministry of Agriculture. The total value of wealth produced is 78.8 billion, taking into account total subsidies and services. In 2016, subsidies on products and subsidies on farms accounted for 11.9% of resources. As a reminder, the Ministry of Agriculture points out that “these operating subsidies can prevent a quarter of farmers to have a negative result.” Between 1970 and 2016, the amount of agricultural value added at the national level was multiplied by 5.8.

This is the number of farm managers identified in 2016 by the agricultural social insurance society (MSA). This active population has been declining steadily for decades.

If we take into account the coexploitants, this population amounted to 560,000 in 2015 according to the latest data from the statistics department of the Ministry of Agriculture. And in total, 885,000 people worked regularly on farms (farm managers or co-exploiters, spouses and other non-salaried assets, permanent employees). The decline in permanent employment is continuing, albeit at a more moderate pace (-1.7% annual average between 2010 and 2015, compared to an annual average of 3.1% between 2000 and 2010). The rate of feminization is slightly higher among farmers. It increased from 24.4% in 2000 to 26.6% in 2013, but agriculture is still an activity practiced mostly by men.

■ 175,900
This is the number of large farms identified by the Agreste in 2013. The decline in the number of small farms in favor of farms favoring supermarkets is one of the major changes in the agricultural sector in France. INSEE economists point out that over the last 20 years, the expansion of farms and the concentration of production represent the two major trends in the sector.

“The increase in the average size of farms results, on the one hand, from the very rapid decline in the number of holdings with a division of half the number of farms of all statuses and sizes and, on the other hand, and the slower decrease in utilized agricultural area (UAA), which covers 28 million hectares in 2013 for a metropolitan area of ​​54.9 million hectares “.

18,300 euros per year
This is the average income of a farmer in France according to the data of the National Agriculture Accounts Commission in 2016. This income in free fall compared to 2015 (-29%) remains higher than 2009, where all productions combined, it was less than 15,000 euros on average, but is nearly 32% lower than the average observed over the period 1995-2005. Obviously, this average masks disparities. Pig farmers appear as the big winners with 51.900 euros on average. They raise their heads after several years of pork crisis. Grain farmers also saw their revenues drop significantly between 2015 and 2016 (-51%) with a significant drop in yields for wheat in particular. Cattle farms for dairy production also have very low incomes (14,515 euros per year). The latest milk powder scandals at Lactalis are not expected to fix the incomes of these farmers.

■ 36.664
This is the number of farmers converted to organic farming in 2017, an increase of 13.6% according to the latest figures provided by the organic agency on February 22nd. In addition to producers, the sector included 17,276 processors, distributors, importers or exporters. This makes a total of 53,940 companies engaged in organic. And according to the surfaces converted each year, the success of this sector continues to grow.

The Organic Agency also noted that, excluding farms, the number of organic companies had increased to 17,726 in 2017, or + 16%, the strongest growth in distribution, with more than 250 organic stores open. last year. A total of 4,752 distributors were engaged in the end of 2017, 735 more in one year (+ 18% compared to the end of 2016), a larger increase than in 2016 where over the same period, 412 new distributors had committed .

These figures, published just before the inauguration of the Salon of Agriculture Saturday by the President of the Republic reflect “a very strong growth”, including the number of new organic farmers, said Thursday the president of the Agency Bio, Florent Guhl at a press conference.

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