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Farms: between decline and stability

Switzerland had 52,263 farms in 2016, i.e. 990 (-1.9%) fewer than in 2015. The total utilised agricultural area (1.05 million hectares) remained stable whereas 153,359 jobs were counted in agriculture, i.e. a drop of 1.3% compared with the previous year.

Teaser 07

Animal production - plant production

Most farms keep animals. Milk and meat are the main products. 

At a glance

The agricultural statistics show changes in the number of farms, jobs, utilised areas, livestock and other data. Time series allow the development of important key figures to be shown over several years.

According to the constitution, the Confederation shall ensure that the agricultural sector, by means of a sustainable and market oriented production policy, makes an essential contribution towards the reliable provision of the population with foodstuffs, the conservation of natural resources and the upkeep of the countryside and the decentralised population settlement of the country. Agriculture has multifunctional tasks.

It is undergoing structural change: this can be seen in a decline in the number of farms and jobs, an increase in the size of farms, changes in livestock data and the way farms are run in general.

Structure of farms
  2017p Total 2016 of which organic
Farms 52 263 6 348
Farm workers 153 359 18 982
Utilised agricultural area (ha) 1 047 322 1 049 072 142 073
Average utilised agricultural area per farm (ha) 20 22
Cattle 1 519 423 1 555 396 174 667
Pigs 1 446 036 1 453 602 28 736
Source: FSO – Farm structure survey

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