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Switzerland Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Switzerland is known for its
neutrality. Among tourists, Switzerland is known for
mouth-watering chocolate, delicious fondue and quality watches.
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture in Switzerland is dominated by animal husbandry. Soil conditions are often difficult, which makes it difficult to use machines and contributes to the most agricultural activity on a small scale.
Nearly three-quarters of agricultural land is pasture. Milk is the most important agricultural product and cheese the most important export commodity. Beef and pork also provide great supplements. The most important crops are sugar beets, potatoes and cereals. Where the climate is most favorable, there are vegetable, fruit and vineyards.
The small scale in agriculture is changing, the farms are quickly growing at the same time as they are getting smaller. To a large extent, it is the smallest family farms that disappear. The sector does not contribute a large proportion of the gross domestic product (GDP) and what is produced only suffices for about half the food supply. But the Swiss protect agriculture, which is seen as an important part of the country's character. Cows grazing on the alpine slopes help to keep the tourist-friendly landscape open.
Swiss agriculture has long been one of the world's most subsidized, including through price guarantees, and has also been protected by import restrictions. Protection has begun to loosen up, but a large proportion of the sector's income still consists of state aid. Environmentally friendly production is especially rewarded; many farms grow organically. Genetically modified crops were banned for five years in a 2005 referendum; the ban has subsequently been extended several times. For Switzerland defense and foreign policy, please check relationshipsplus.
Forestry and the forest industry play an economically important role, while the forest is threatened by both increased population pressure and environmental changes.
The extensive European transit traffic on Swiss highways has caused severe environmental damage to the forest. According to a 1993 decision, the total forest area must not be reduced - harvesting must be linked to new planting. The many cold spots for ski tourism have led to an increasing number of landslides and snow vines.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
0.7 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
38.4 percent (2016)