Farm structure in Cyprus

From Statistics Explained

Data from December 2008. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.
Figure 1: Distribution of the utilised agricultural area, Cyprus, 2005 and 2007
Figure 2: Description of the labour force in Cyprus, 2007
Figure 3: Distribution of the number of livestock units, Cyprus, 2005 and 2007
Table 1: Labour force by size of the farms, Cyprus, 2007
Table 2: Agricultural holdings by size, Cyprus, 2007
Table 3: Land use by size of the farms, Cyprus, 2007
Table 4: Livestock by size of the farm, Cyprus, 2007
Table 5: Subsistence farming, Cyprus, 2007.PNG

This article is part of a series of country-specific essays on the results of the European Union (EU) Farm structure survey (FSS) 2007. It provides a brief but nevertheless comprehensive insight into farm structure in Cyprus.

The 2007 FSS recorded 40 100 agricultural holdings in Cyprus, which represents a 11 % decrease since 2005. The total utilised agricultural area (UAA) has also decreased by 4 %, reaching 146 000 ha. The agricultural labour force dropped by 10 %.

Main statistical findings

1 out of 3 farms specialised in fruit and citrus fruit

In 2007, about 28 100 agricultural holdings in Cyprus had an economic size of at least one European size unit (ESU), compared to 29 900 in 2005 (a 6 % reduction).

These farms made use of 138 000 hectares (ha) of utilised agricultural area, (3 % less than in 2005), which makes the average size of a holding in Cyprus 5 ha. See Figure 1 for the distribution of UAA in terms of farm size, while Table 2 describes the size distribution and other characteristics of the agricultural holdings.

These holdings employed 23 800 annual work units (AWUs), the equivalent of 23 800 people working full time, a decrease of 8 % since 2005. The average area per AWU is 5.8 ha. The organization and distribution of the labour force in Cyprus is described in Graph 2 and Table 1.

The farms contained 245 900 livestock units (LSU) in 2007, 1 % more than in 2005. The distribution of livestock by farm size is shown in Table 4 and Graph 3.

Amongst the 28 100 agricultural holdings in 2007:

  • 75 % made use of less than one AWU, while another 9 % made use of two or more AWUs;
  • 96 % used less than 20 ha, while 1 % used 50 ha or more;
  • 20 % produced mainly for own consumption and 8 % produced mainly for direct sales;
  • 79 % of Cypriot farms specialise in crops;
  • 32 % of the holdings were specialists in fruit and citrus fruit;
  • 20 % specialised in various permanent crops combined;
  • 11 % of the holdings were engaged in mixed cropping.

Amongst the sole holders:

  • 22 % were women in 2007;
  • 60 % were aged 55 or more and 2 % were younger than 35 years;
  • 44 % had another gainful activity in 2007.

In Cyprus in 2007, 41 % (56 700 ha) of the agricultural area was farmed by its owners (a 9 % reduction since 2005).

Details of land use by size of farm are given in Table 3.

The family labour force represents 73 % of the total labour force - a 6 % decrease from 2005 to 2007.

The area of permanent crops decreased by 10 % from 2005 to 2007. The percentage of the area of permanent crops in the total UAA dropped by 2 points, reaching 23.8 % in 2007.

The trends in livestock varied from an increase in pigs (+8 %) to a decrease in cattle (-2 %), sheep (-4 %) and goats (-11 %).

The situation for subsistence farming in Cyprus is outlined in Table 5.

Data sources and availability

Due to the different coverage of the FSS across Member States, the total number of farms is not comparable between countries. This is why the present analysis, including Tables 1-4 and the figures focus on holdings of at least one European size unit (ESU).

The Agricultural Statistics section of the Statistical Service of Cyprus conducted the FSS 2007 Cyprus. The FSS 2007 was the second survey after the last Agricultural Census in 2003 (AC 2003). It was carried out using a combination of exhaustive (for the agricultural holdings with at least 16 ESU) and sample survey (for the other holdings). The reference period was October 2006 to September 2007 except for livestock with the 1st November 2007 as the reference day. Questionnaires were filled out through personal interviews from November 2007 until April 2008.

In Cyprus all technical and economic units under a single management producing agricultural products was considered in the survey population if it had an UAA of at least 5 ares ha or at least one cow or two other large animals or five small animals or 50 fowls or 20 beehives.

The FSS 2007 used the farm register as basis for the 2007 survey, this population frame of 44 700 holdings was the result of the AC 2003, updated with further surveys on vines, cereal, fruit and livestock carried out between 2003 and 2007. From this frame 3 557 farms were extracted into the exhaustive stratum (with at least 16 ESU). 9 943 holdings were selected from the remaining farms using a stratified random sample, based on the typology and economic size. The sampling rate for the FSS 2007 was 30 %.

The non-response rate in the 2007 FSS in Cyprus was 7.5 %. Due to non-response the extrapolation factors were re-weighed.

Between FSS 2005 and 2007 "maintaining land in good agricultural and environmental conditions" (GAEC) became an agricultural activity and the concerned land has been included in the agricultural area. In Cyprus it covers close to 560 ha, all in holdings with at least 1 ESU.

For each activity (`enterprise`) on a farm (for instance wheat, dairy cow or vineyard), a standard gross margin (SGM) is estimated, based on the area (or the number of heads) and a regional coefficient. The sum of such margins in a farm is its economic size, expressed in European size units (ESU, 1 ESU is a 1200-euro SGM).

An annual work unit (AWU) is equivalent to a worker employed on a full-time basis for one year. In Cyprus it is 2080 hours (260 working days of 8 working hours per day).


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

As agriculture has modernised and the importance of industry and services within the economy has increased, so 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, the diversification of the rural economy to create alternative jobs and environmental protection in rural areas.

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

See also

Further Eurostat information


Main tables

Farm structure: historical data (1990-2007) (t_ef)


Farm structure (ef)

Dedicated section

Ad-hoc tables: Farm Structure Survey

Methodology / Metadata

External links