Written Answers. - Farm Structure Survey.

Billy Timmins

Question:

42 Mr. Timmins asked the Taoiseach the number of full and part-time farmers for 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and for 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14060/02]

The farm structure survey, which is conducted every two to three years, provides information on the number of farms with more than one hectare of land farmed. A breakdown of the number of full-time and part-time farmers is available from the 1980 survey onwards. In this context, full-time means farmers whose sole occupation is farming; those who answered that farming was either a major or subsidiary occupation are classified as part-time.

The relevant farm structure survey figures, starting with 1980, are set out in the following table.

Estimated number of full-time and part-time farmers

Number of Farmers (000)

Year

Full-Time

Part-Time

Total

1980

163.4

60.2

223.5

1983

163.9

57.2

221.1

1985

144.7

75.5

220.2

1987

135.9

81.1

217.0

1991

124.7

45.2

169.9

1993

106.0

52.9

158.9

1995

101.2

51.8

153.0

1997

98.3

49.3

147.6

1999

87.5

56.2

143.7

Notes:
1. Farms run by commercial concerns or institutions are excluded.
2. The figures for 1991 and later years are not directly comparable with those for earlier years, as the earlier figures included a large number of inactive land-holdings (without cash crops or livestock) and smaller or more marginal units. These were excluded when the 1991 Census of Agriculture was conducted, reducing the total by an estimated 30,000 farms.