Assessment made on 01 Jan 2001
ClassificationAgriculture (Primary theme)
Policy issue: Has the sector made progress in improving its eco-efficiency?
The agricultural sector has made less progress than other sectors
The 5% increase between 1990 and 1997 in gross value added (used as an indicator of agricultural production) is mainly due to an increase in productivity per hectare. Energy use and the area of irrigated land have increased more rapidly than gross value added, which is linked to a relatively faster growth of intensive production.
Even where improvements have been made, they are usually lower than in other sectors - for example, although agriculture now emits 10% less acidifying substances, other sectors have reduced emissions by up to 50%. And while fertiliser and pesticide use has been reduced, the associated problems of nutrient surpluses and pesticide residues in environment and food remain.
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This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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