Farm structure in Slovakia
From Statistics Explained
- Data from December 2008. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.
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 Slovakia.
Main statistical findings
92% of the utilised agricultural area in Slovakia is in farms of over 100 ha
In 2007, about 16 000 agricultural holdings in Slovakia had an economic size of at least one ESU, compared to 13 000 in 2005 (a 23 % increase).
These farms made use of 1.9 million hectares (ha) of utilised agricultural area (UAA), (3 % more than in 2005), which makes the average size of a holding in Slovakia 120 ha (compared with 143 ha in 2005). 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 64 000 annual work units (AWUs), the equivalent of 64 000 people working full time, a decrease of 5 % since 2005. The organisation and distribution of the labour force in Slovakia is described in Graph 2 and Table 1.
The farms contained 707 000 livestock units (LSU) in 2007, 4 % less than in 2005. The distribution of livestock by farm size is shown in Table 4 and Graph 3.
Amongst the 16 000 agricultural holdings in 2007:
- 51 % made use of less than one AWU, while another 18 % made use of two or more AWUs;
- 49 % used less than 5 ha, while 18 % used 50 ha or more;
- 72 % produced for own consumption and 34% produced for direct sales;
- 25 % of Slovak farms specialised in cereals, oil seed and protein crops;
- 15 % specialized in field crops and grazing livestock combined;
- 13 % of the holdings specialised in general field cropping;
Amongst the sole holders:
- 14 % were women in 2007;
- 50 % were aged 55 or more and 7 % were younger than 35 years; and
- 39 % had another gainful activity in 2007 (47 % more since 2005).
In Slovakia in 2007, only 9 % of the agricultural area was farmed by its owners.
The family labour force represents 20 % of the total labour force - a 24 % increase since 2005.
The FSS 2007 registered more farms with other gainful activities than in 2005, an increase of 93 %. They represented 16% of the holdings in Slovakia in 2007. The main category of other gainful activities is contractual work (using production means of the holding) covering 5 % of Slovak farms.
The major decrease in the livestock figures was mainly due to the 3% reduction in the number of cattle, which accounts for more than half of the Slovak LSU, and pigs (-17%). Other types of livestock increased in the country: sheep (+12%), goats (+33%), rabbits (+56%) and beehives (+41%).
The situation for subsistence farming in Slovakia 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 graphs focus on holdings of at least one European size unit (ESU).
The Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (SOSR), in collaboration with its eight regional offices and the municipalities implemented the Survey on the structure of agricultural holdings in Slovakia. The FSS 2007 was the third survey after the last Farm Structure Census in 2001(FSC 2001). It was carried out using a combination of exhaustive (among the registered units, and the unregistered units with at least 1 ha) and sample survey (for the unregistered holdings under 1 ha). The reference period was from the calendar year of 2007, except for livestock, which had a reference day: the 31st December.
All technical and economical independent units with autonomous management and producing agricultural products were included in the group of farms providing they fulfilled one the following criteria: UAA of at least 0.5 ha; area in intensive crops at least 0.15 ha; area of vineyards at least 0.05ha; having at least 1 cattle or 2 pigs, or 4 sheep or 4 goats of 50 heads of poultry; or having at least 100 fur animals, 100 rabbits or 5 beehives.
Amongst the farm register, the statistical register, and other external registers a population frame of around 75 500 holdings was used for the FSS 2007. The exhaustive strata made up 39 % (29 000) of the holdings while the other 46 000 were sampled using stratified random sampling based on the eight geographical regions. A total number of around 8 500 (19 %) units were sampled.
Altogether about 38 000 questionnaires were issued. The non-response rate was 0.4 %. The percentage of farms that had either ceased their activities or did no longer have agriculture as their major activity was of 16 %, and 6 % did not reach the defined thresholds. So although the return rate was of 99.6 %, the percentage of farms with a complete questionnaire was 78 % (29 500 holdings).
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 Slovakia it covers close to 50 800 ha, 98 % 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 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 Slovakia it is 1800 hours (225 working days of 8 working hours per day).
A livestock unit (LSU) is equivalent to a dairy cow. The number of animals (number of heads) is converted into LSU using a set of coefficients reflecting the feed requirements of the different animal categories.
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.
Further Eurostat information
- Farm Structure Survey in Slovakia - 2007 - Statistics in focus 37/2009
- National Methodological Report – FSS 2007 Slovakia (available on request)
- Agriculture, see:
- Structure of agricultural holdings (t_ef)
- Agriculture, see:
- Structure of agricultural holdings (ef)
Methodology / Metadata
- Structure of agricultural holdings (ESMS metadata file - ef_esms)