Agricultural statistics were initially designed to monitor the main objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy, e.g. the production and supply of agricultural products and income in the agricultural sector. Today, agricultural statistics cover topics as diverse as
- farm structure,
- utilisation of farming land,
- labour input,
- prices and the
- composition of agricultural income.
Comprehensive information is available at both a national level and a regional level.
During the last 10-15 years new objectives have been introduced in relation to agricultural policy. These include
- protection of the environment,
- sustainable farming practices,
- food safety and security, and
- animal welfare,as well as
- broader perspectives relating to rural development.
New indicators and statistics have been developed to provide information relating to these topics, for example, data relating to the use and impact of pesticides and nutrients. Another important priority in agricultural statistics has been to establish statistics that allow the evolution of organic farming to be followed.