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DREM releases the data of the Survey on the structure of agricultural holdings 2013

Between November of 2013 and March of 2014, the Regional Directorate of Statistics of Madeira (DREM) surveyed around 1,365 Madeiran farmers.

This statistical operation was coordinated at a national level by Statistics Portugal (INE) and allows the update of the data of the Agricultural Census of 2009. In 2016 a new Survey on the structure of agricultural holdings will take place.

Main results

According to the Survey on the structure of agricultural holdings/2013, there were in that year 12,068 agricultural holdings in Madeira and a total of 5,262 hectares (1 hectare = 100 ares = 10,000m2) of Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA). Compared to the Agricultural Census, the number of holdings dropped by 11.3%, while the UAA decreased by 3.1%. Consequently the mean UAA (calculated by the dividing the UAA by the number of holdings with UAA which is 12,055) increased to the historical maximum of the last 50 years (the period in which this kind of surveys, including the Agricultural censuses, have been  conducted  in Madeira) of 43.7 ares (4,365 m2). In the last Census the mean UAA was 3,997 m2.

Breaking down the number of holdings by classes of UAA it becomes clear that the decrease in the number of holdings was due to the decline in the number of holdings with less than 0.5 ha of UAA.

In the temporary crops (2,164 ha, -0.4% than 2009), it should be highlighted the increase in the area of sugar cane to 156 ha (+35.4% than in the 2009 Census) and the decline in horticulture (-16.9%), which remains however as the most important temporary crop, with a base area of 840 ha. In the permanent crops it should be emphasized the increase in the area of banana which stood at 731 hectares in the year of reference (697 hectares in 2009). This rise contributed to the 6.1% increase in the subtropical plantation area. On the contrary, the area of vineyard dropped by 15.2%.

The agriculture in Madeira continues to show signs of progressive mechanisation, with the number of walking cultivators and motor hoes increasing by 5.6% and 21.9%, respectively. The proccess of mechanisation also became more pronounced in the irrigation of the crops with the modern methods like drop and micro-sprinkler irrigation being now more common.

Regarding livestock, the main change compared to the 2009 Census is the number of pigs, which dropped sharply to 4,585 heads (12,000 less).

In 2013, the familiar agricultural population totalled 34,977; 5,800 persons less than in 2009.


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