How many farms? How big and how many plots do they have? Who works in agriculture? How are crops and livestock distributed? What is produced? How mechanised is agriculture? What are the current production methods, and how do innovative agricultural ideas spread? These are some of the questions the new Agricultural Census (RA2019) wants to address.
Over the next seven months, the National Statistics Institute (INE) in Madeira, through the (Regional Statistics Directorate) will update the data collected in 2009.
Ten years ago, throughout Portugal and including Madeira there were 305,000 farms, whose combined size equated to 51%. of the geographical area of the country. A total of 793,000 people were employed on the land, while three-quarters of agriculture was dedicated to vineyards and olive oil production.
The RA 2019 is the second-largest statistical operation in Portugal and Madeira, and all information will be collected from face-to-face interviews, through an accredited interviewer. However, all farmers will be contacted in advance to arrange a meeting for this exhaustive and mandatory survey. Information provided by farmers is confidential and is intended for statistical purposes only, and may not be disclosed or used for any other purpose.
Since 1965, and usually every ten years (1977, 1986, 1989, 1999 and 2009), agricultural censuses have been carried out in Madeira. Although, the first statistical operation in the area of agriculture on the island was carried out in 1934, which consisted of a “General List of Workers, Cattle and Animals”.
In conclusion, the INE states that the Agricultural Census contributes decisively to the characterisation of the country’s agriculture, its production structures, rural population and the modes of agricultural production. This knowledge is essential for decision-making in different spheres such as economic, regional, social and even business policies. It is also assumed to be the only source of comprehensive agricultural information (collecting data on all farms) enabling results to be obtained at very detailed geographical levels.
The new statistical survey started on the 25th of October, and around 1,650 people will be involved in the operation. The final report will be sent to the European Commission in accordance with European Union regulation.
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