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Switzerland is a montainous country, that is why, the agriculture is essentially focused on breeding. The Swiss government always intervenes to direct the production, to maintain farmers' incomes and to protect the environment.
Today, the farming sector employs 3.9 % of the working population and represents with the forest sector, 2.7 % of the gross added value of the Swiss economy.
The grain productions are little developed in the country. They have benefited from State aids and yield growth due to mineral fertilizers and the development of phytosanitary products. As regards to fruits and vegetables, the production is limited but they are high-quality products.
Moreover, half of the Swiss cheese production is intended for the exportation, especially to European Union.

Agricultural population (in thousands)

Total population

7 164

Agricultural population


Non agricultural population

6 742

Source : 2004, FAOSTAT

Land use

Cultivated surface area

1 525 000

Irrigated surface area

25 000

Number of farms


Number of tractors

107 827

Source : 2003, FAOSTAT

Production indicators

Main crops

Product Production (in thousands) Harvested surface (1000 ha) Yield by hectare (kg/ha)
Sugar beet 1409 18 77234
Wheat 531 93 5732
Potatoes 505 13 40364
Barley 231 38 6134
Apples 217 4 50234

Source : 2005, FAOSTAT


Specie Headcount (in thousands)
Chickens 8117
Pigs 1609
Cattle 1545
Sheep 446
Beehives 208

Source : 2005, FAOSTAT

Fishing (in metric tons)

Shellfish, mollusks and cephalopods Saltwater fish Freshwater fish
0 0 616

Source : 2005, FAOSTAT