Agriculture

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The agricultural sector is one of the main land users in Europe and thus shapes landscapes in rural areas. It has various direct and indirect impacts on the environment and depends itself on natural resources. Patterns of agricultural production vary considerably across Europe and no general picture can be drawn. Emissions from agriculture arising from, for example, the use of fertilisers and pesticides, have decreased recently. More

Key facts and messages
European agriculture — 40% of the land — serves societal demands for food production, pollination and energy. Long-observed environmental impacts are mixed: decreasing GHG emissions, less pesticide use but exceedance of nutrients, diffuse... more
There are fewer farmers and less arable land but demand for food is growing. Europe faces a continuous challenge to reconcile low environmental impact, food security and the viability of rural societies. more
Reducing agriculture's environmental impacts requires a transition towards innovative, low-input systems. Organic production plays a role in increasing the efficiency of nutrient management and reducing pesticide use. more
While there has been rapid development in recent years, in 2012 the total area under organic farming was still only 5.7% of total utilised agricultural area, with more than a 60-fold difference in the share of organic farming amongst countries. more

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100