The vast majority of the world’s 600 million farms are small. Recent estimates show that 70 % of all farms operate only 7 % of all agricultural land, while 70 % of all agricultural land is found in the largest 1 % of farms (see Figure 1). This difference between the smallest and the largest farms becomes even more striking in the light of two facts. First, a common approach defines small farms as those below 2 ha of farmland, bringing the share of the smallest farms to more than 80 % of all farms, with a total farmed area slightly above 10 % of all farmland. Second, the majority of land operated by farms with more than 50 ha (i.e. almost 40 % of all farmland) is found in farms with over 1 000 ha of land. In other words, 80 % of the world’s farms each operate an agricultural area smaller than three football fields (with one football field measuring 0.7 ha), whereas nearly 40 % of world farmland is found in a very small share of farms, each of them with a farmed area larger than the area of the park of the Palace of Versailles (which measures more than 800 ha).
World farms and farmland by land size class
European Parliamentary Research Service
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