September 24, 2022

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French farms are growing, but still smaller than in the United States or Canada: report

PARIS, Dec 10 (Reuters) – French farms have grown at an average rate over the past decade but are still smaller than the agribusinesses of major competitors such as Canada and the United States, the Ministry of Agriculture said Friday from France.

The annual agricultural survey, released on Friday, shows that the average size of French farms increased by 69 hectares in 2020, from 55 hectares in 2010, as the land of about 100,000 closed farms was consolidated into rival companies. .

In recent years, the debate over the pros and cons of industrial-scale agriculture has intensified among the largest agricultural producers in the EU, particularly on animal welfare and the environmental impact of some large and large livestock farms.

“The scale is on a human scale, which is far, far from what some believe about the widespread industrialization of our agriculture,” French Agriculture Minister Julian Denormondi told reporters while presenting the results of the census.

The census shows that there are 390,000 farms in France, up from 490,000 in 2010, but the total area of ​​farms is fixed at 26.7 million hectares, which is equivalent to half of the country’s land area.

French farms are now on par with Germany, but North American farms are even larger, the minister said.

Canadian farms averaged 332 hectares in 2016 or five times more than French farms, while the average size of U.S. farms was 178 hectares in 2017, according to the French Ministry.

(Report by Sybille de La Hamaide; edited by David Clark, Sybille de La Hamaide Report

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