Agriculture ensures the supply of the population with plant and animal foods. Together with fisheries and forestry, agriculture forms the primary sector of the economy, which can be summarized as agriculture. Agriculture and agriculture are often used synonymously, however.
The economic importance of the economic sector has decreased in relation to the secondary (manufacturing or industry) and tertiary (trade and services) sector. Whereas on the eve of the industrial take-off, agriculture and forestry still represented almost 50 percent of the net value added in today’s Germany, the value added share today (gross) is less than one percent. The traditional importance of agriculture as an employer has also declined. While agriculture and forestry still employed around 22.1 percent of those employed in (West) Germany in 1950, this share has fallen to around 1.3 percent by 2019.
The main reason for this structural change is the productivity gain through the mechanization of work processes: while a German farmer fed an average of ten people in 1949, since the 2010s it has been more than 120 people.
The increasing capital requirements of modern agriculture and growing price pressure encourage the development of larger farms. While the total number is decreasing, the number of holdings with areas of more than 100 hectares has increased. The most important agricultural products are milk, grain and animals (for meat production) according to their share in sales revenues. According to the Thünen Institute, only around a quarter of the consumption expenditure for (domestic) food is accounted for by farmers, while the rest is reserved for the downstream stages of the value chain (processing and trading).
The largest cost centers for German farmers are animal feed, agricultural technology, fertilizers and pesticides, as well as fuel and electricity. While Germany tends to produce surpluses of animal products (meat, milk, exception: eggs) as well as grain and potatoes, which are sold as exports abroad, the degree of self-sufficiency for fruit and vegetables is significantly less than 50 percent.
The organic farming segment, which largely dispenses with chemical pesticides, mineral fertilizers and genetic engineering, is of growing importance within agriculture. The share of organic farms in total agricultural holdings multiplied between 1995 and 2018 from 1.1 to around 11.7 percent and around 10.1 percent of the News agricultural area in Germany is farmed organically. Most of the farms with organic farming are located in the federal state of Bavaria, which is also the state with the most farms in conventional agriculture.
This text represents basic information. No guarantee can be given for the correctness and completeness of the information. Due to different update rates, statistics may have more up-to-date data.
In the following 7 chapters you will quickly find the 88 most important statistics on the subject of “Agriculture”.