Agricultural censuses in the European Union

Since 1966, agricultural censuses have been conducted in the European Union every 10 years. The last Agricultural Census was carried out in 2010. Only Greece, Spain and Portugal are allowed to conduct the census in 2009.

EU legal acts determine which indicators must be collected by all EU member states during the census and how and when these indicators should be provided to the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat).

In the EU countries, the census is conducted in order to have information comparable between the countries which would allow analyzing the state of agriculture at EU level and estimating the implementation of the EU agricultural policy and development possibilities.

Agricultural censuses in Lithuania: historical review

The first overall Agricultural Census in Lithuania was conducted in 1930. A publication on this census (Visuotinis Lietuvos Žemės Ūkio Surašymas. 1930 – Vytauto Didžiojo – metai gruodžio mėn. 30 d., Kaunas: 1932) provides: "An overall Agricultural Census, which took place on December 30, 1930 – the year of Vytautas the Great, was the first agricultural census in Lithuania. Agricultural censuses had not been conducted either before the War or after the restoration of Lithuania's independence. Agricultural statistics on crop area, crop conditions, harvest, the number of livestock and wages had been based on correspondents' reports. <…> In the congress of the International Institute of Agriculture in 1926, a common census form had been adopted for all countries and census date – 1929 and 1930 – had been specified. Lithuania, as a member of the International Institute of Agriculture, had accepted this invitation and promised to conduct a census at the time specified. <…> On July 14, 1930 – the year of Vytautas the Great – the law on agricultural census had been passed; on October 31, the Cabinet of Ministers had determined the census rules. <…> The Agricultural Census in the whole Republic started on 30 December 1930. The census lasted for about ten days and all data were recorded as on the night of the 30th/31st of December. The census was prepared, conducted and data were processed by the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB) under the Ministry of Finance."

During the Soviet period, data on agricultural crop area, gardens and berry fields, the number of livestock and poultry, tractors and other agricultural machines and buildings were provided by kolkhozes and sovkhozes, while data on agricultural parcels of inhabitants were calculated using a sampling method or administrative documents (agricultural record books of executive committees of districts). Livestock censuses were conducted periodically – every five years, census on agricultural crop area, gardens and berry fields – every ten years. Data were provided in the publications Agriculture and statistical yearbooks published by the Central Statistics Board. 

The second Agricultural Census in Independent Lithuania was conducted on 2–30 June 2003. Private land owners and agricultural entities were interviewed. The census was prepared in order to estimate the number of farmers and their distribution by category in regional administrative units, to receive data on farming purposes, land used, agricultural crop area, gardens and berry fields, agricultural equipment, buildings, non-agricultural business, and to find out the number of persons employed and duration of their employment.



On 3 May–30 September 2010, the 2010 Agricultural Census of farmers‘ and family farms was carried out by Statistics Lithuania.
 

The final results are published in a special publications dedicated to the Census:

    

Please email us your questions at zu.surasymas@stat.gov.lt.

Information on this webpage is not translated into English.

Information on this webpage is not translated into English.

  • An agricultural census is a statistical survey of all farms (agricultural holdings) producing agricultural products, conducted on a national scale, through which comprehensive statistical data on agriculture are collected.
     
  • The objective of the census is obtain accurate statistical data required for the analysis of the development of agriculture in Lithuania, assessing changes that took place in agriculture after Lithuania's accession to the EU, agricultural development potential, efficiency of and future demand for EU support.
     
  • The successful course of the census is very important as it is a kind of a snapshot of agriculture in Lithuania – the most comprehensive information on the situation in agriculture. The availability of detailed statistical data is an indispensable condition for making informed decisions about the amount, type and timing of support for Lithuanian farmers.
     
  • Under EU legislation, all EU countries are to conduct agricultural censuses once in a decade. The most recent agricultural census in the EU was conducted in 1999–2000 (in Lithuania, in 2003, i.e. before the accession to the EU).
     
  • In 2010, agricultural censuses will be conducted by all EU countries.

Article 6 (Farm structure surveys) of Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 571/88 (OJ 2008 L 321, p. 14): 

"In 2010, 2013 and 2016, Member States shall carry out surveys on the structure of agricultural holdings, hereinafter ‘farm structure surveys'."

"The farm structure survey in 2010 shall be carried out in the form of a census."

Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No 516 of 27 May 2009 on the Agricultural Census 2010 of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2009, No 67-2700), which:

  • establishes that the agricultural census shall be carried out in May–September 2010 by interviewing agricultural entities and other land users;
     
  • assigns Statistics Lithuania to organise and conduct the census, process and submit to the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) the statistical data collected, as well as to publish census results;
     
  • obliges agricultural entities and other land users to submit statistical data to Statistics Lithuania during the census;
     
  • provides for the formation of a Commission for the Agricultural Census 2010 of the Republic of Lithuania, headed by a Vice Minister of Agriculture.

The agricultural census was conducted in the entire Lithuania in May–September 2010. It was the third agricultural census in the history of Lithuania (the first one was conducted in 1930, the second – in 2003).

  • The security of statistical data collected during the census is guaranteed by law; therefore, the data collected will be used exclusively for statistical purposes. The census has and will have nothing to do with taxation, social insurance and other administrative measures.
     
  • In interviewing a farmer (in his/her absence – his/her spouse or another adult family member), the interviewed person is not required to provide documentary evidence. However, if needed, data from personal or land ownership documents may be used.
     
  • The Law on Statistics and Resolution No 516 of 27 May 2009 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania concerning the Agricultural Census 2010 of the Republic of Lithuania provides for an obligation to submit statistical data not only for legal but also for natural persons.
  • Enumerators worked at ward offices at the time of crop declaration (from 3 May to 30 June 2010); they interviewed farmers coming to the offices to submit declarations.
     
  • Those farmers who do not declare crops but cultivate land and (or) keep animals, poultry or bees also were invited to visit ward offices according to their place of residence on 3 May–30 June 2010 to answer census questionnaires.
     
  • Those farmers who had not declare crops and had not visited ward offices to provide data on 3 May–30 June 2010 were visited by enumerators.
     
  • An electronic questionnaire has also been prepared, which may be filled out and submitted online via an electronic data collection system of Statistics Lithuania.

In the course of the census, farmers were asked to provide the following statistical data:

  • land area (owned and leased);
     
  • land area by agricultural land category;
     
  • type and area of orchards and berry plantations, species of and land under agricultural crops;
     
  • species and number of farm animals kept;
     
  • number of items of agricultural equipment, area (capacity) of agricultural buildings;
     
  • family members working on the farm: age, vocational qualification in agriculture, average daily number of hours worked on the farm, other paid employment;
     
  • permanent hired workers: number, hours worked, other paid employment;
     
  • number of days worked by temporary hired workers;
     
  • agricultural production methods;
     
  • other (non-agricultural) activity.

There were some novelties in the Agricultural Census 2010 as compared with that conducted in 2003. It was the first time that information about agricultural production methods used on farms was collected through a census, i.e. individuals were asked to indicate the methods of cultivation of land, how animals are kept, whether animals are grazed on pastures, whether land is irrigated, what crops are grown, what sources are used for irrigation on the farm. 

The organisation of the census was different as well. A census worker was working at each ward office, where he interviewed the farmers declaring their agricultural land area; he also asked them to submit additional data required for census purposes. Thus, time and money were saved as enumerators did not visit those farms, and the farmers were not additionally disturbed at home.

Moreover, from 3 May to 30 June 2010, farmers were afforded an opportunity to fill out and submit census questionnaires via the Internet.

Finally, only those farms which had not been enumerated during the period from 3 May to 30 June in the ward offices and had not submitted filled out census questionnaires via the Internet were visited by enumerators.

The object of the census is a farm (agricultural holding) – an entity which is independent in both technical and economic terms, having one manager, producing agricultural products or maintaining land which is not used for the production of agricultural products in good agricultural and environmental condition. A farm may also produce additional, non-agricultural products or provide services. For this reason, in the course of the census, all farms producing agricultural products were interviewed, irrespective of the fact whether they do or do not have a farmer's certificate. Even farms producing agricultural products only for their own needs were interviewed.

In the course of the agricultural census, the following entities were interviewed:

- all farms with usable agricultural land area of 1 ha and more;

- all farms with usable agricultural land area of less than 1 ha;

- all agricultural companies and enterprises.

Contact

AT STATISTICS LITHUANIA

  • Agriculture and Environment Statistics Division
    Tel. (8 5) 236 4923
     
  • Agricultural Structure and Census Subdivision
    Tel.: (8 5) 236 4982, 236 4794, 236 4960
    Email zu.surasymas@stat.gov.lt

AT REGIONAL STATISTICAL OFFICES

  • Kaunas (for the inhabitants of Kaunas, Marijampolė, and Alytus counties)
    Tel.: (8 37) 311 522, 312 580
     
  • Klaipėda (for the inhabitants of Klaipėda and Tauragė counties)
    Tel.: (8 46) 340 788, 340 727
     
  • Panevėžys (for the inhabitants of Panevėžys and Utena counties)
    Tel.: (8 45) 460 245, 581 587
     
  • Šiauliai (for the inhabitants of Šiauliai and Telšiai counties)
    Tel.: (8 41) 521 688, 420 840
     
  • Vilnius (for the inhabitants of Vilnius county)
    Tel.: (8 5) 236 1444, 236 4893

Information on this webpage is not translated into English.

zu.surasymas@stat.gov.lt

Aušra Jablonskienė
Head, Agricultural and Environmental statistics division
Tel. (+370 5) 236 4982
E-mail: ausra.jablonskiene@stat.gov.lt

Concerning agricultural census and farm structure survey:

Sandra Šiupieniūtė
Chief specialist, Agricultural and Environmental statistics division
Tel. (+370 5) 236 4933
E-mail: sandra.siupieniute@stat.gov.lt

Jekaterina Felde
Chief specialist, Agricultural and Environmental statistics division
Tel. (+370 5) 236 4960
E-mail: jekaterina.felde@stat.gov.lt

Rima Butkevič
Senior specialist, Agricultural and Environmental statistics division
Tel. (+370 5) 236 4992
E-mail: rima.butkevic@stat.gov.lt

What is an Agricultural Census?

An agricultural census is a way to collect detailed information and to estimate the level of agricultural production and its changes, to provide the required data to the European Commission, the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Preparation for negotiations on EU membership and formation of a negotiating position also requires comprehensive, reliable and representative information about social and economic situation of agriculture.

Census data will be used:

  • for arrangement and adjustment of the Agricultural Register
  • for the sampling of farms (respondents) for statistical surveys
  • for the preparation of more rational measures for rural support
  • for forecasting the amount of agricultural production supplied to the market
  • for the estimation of the need and volume of financial support for the producers of agricultural products
  • in negotiations with the European Union regarding support for Lithuania's agriculture.

Why in 2003?

The Census was necessary as many changes occurred during the years of independence:

Data confidentiality

The Law on Statistics of the Republic of Lithuania, EU directives and the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data of the Republic of Lithuania protect data confidentiality. Census data will be used only for summary tables.

Publications and CD-ROMs prepared:

The following results are provided: farms by category, size, production purposes, agricultural land area, crop area, livestock and poultry, agricultural equipment and buildings, farm grouping, persons employed in agriculture and type of their employment (full-time/part-time). The main data are provided broken down by county.

The following detailed results of the Agricultural Census 2003 broken down by county and municipality are provided: number of farms of all categories, their grouping by size, land area and land use, sown and planted area, crop structure, livestock and poultry, agricultural equipment and buildings, persons employed in agriculture and type of their employment (full-time/part-time).

The following results of the Agricultural Census 2003 in Lithuania broken down by ward are provided: number of farms, land area and land use, sown and planted area, livestock and poultry, agricultural buildings, tractors, machinery and equipment, number of persons employed.

Aušra Jablonskienė
Head, Agricultural and Environmental statistics division
Tel. (+370 5) 236 4982
E-mail: ausra.jablonskiene@stat.gov.lt