In 2020, about 60% of utilised agricultural area (UAA) in Cyprus (52% in the European Union) was found on crop specialist farms, according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

About 30% of UAA in Cyprus (33% in the EU) was found on livestock specialist farms and the rest, a bit over 10%, was found on mixed farms (15% in the EU).

Farms can be classified according to the activities that dominate farm income. Some farms earn income from diverse activities (mixed farming), while others earn income mainly from either crops or livestock. Specialised farming refers to when one activity accounts for at least two-thirds of the total standard output of a farm.

In broad terms, high proportions of crop specialist farms were observed in many Eastern European countries, such as Bulgaria (73%), Hungary (72%), and Romania (67%), as well as in Mediterranean countries like Greece (74%), Malta (63%), and Croatia (61%). This often reflected favourable conditions for growing particular kinds of cereals, fruit and/or olives.

Specialist livestock farms were more prevalent in several countries in northwest Europe, such as Luxembourg (82% of all farms), Ireland (79%) and the Netherlands (58%).

At country level, the share of UAA managed by each specialisation type strongly correlated with the number of farms by type of specialisation.

Total number of farms fell between 2005 and 2020 in EU and Cyprus

In 2020, there were 9.1 million farms in the EU. This is an estimated 5.3 million fewer farms than in 2005 (the equivalent of a decline of about 37%). The number of farms also dropped in Cyprus during the same period, from 45,170 in 2005 to 34,050 in 2020.

Although there were fewer EU farms of all types in 2020 than in 2005, declines in some types of farms were much sharper than others; there were 2.6 million fewer mixed farms, 1.6 million fewer livestock specialist farms and 0.9 million fewer crop specialist farms.

Almost three-fifths (58%) of all farms in 2020 were categorised as specialist crop farms: just over one-third (34%) specialised in field cropping, about one-fifth (22%) in permanent crops and a small share (2%) in horticulture.

Slightly more than one-fifth (22%) of the EU’s farms were specialist livestock farms, with specialisation in dairying being the most common type (5% of all farms), followed by cattle-rearing and fattening, poultry, and sheep, goats and other grazing livestock (each 4%).

In 2020, just under one-fifth (19%) of all farms in the EU were mixed farms, meaning that they had multiple crops and/or livestock without a single activity making up at least two-thirds of standard output.

Some farms (1% of the total) could not be classified because they are subsistent in nature or because they produce goods for which no standard output can be calculated.

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