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Strong Swiss agricultural output, despite droughts

Swiss agricultural production is up in 2018, driven largely by bigger hauls of wine, fruit and milk, according to the latest official statistics. Productivity is also on the rise. The yearly production estimate of CHF10.6 billion ($10.7 billion) released on Tuesday by the Federal Statistical Office represents an increase of 2.7% on 2017 figures. Much of the boost comes from arable production, up 4.4% on last year.

So-called speciality crops such as fruits, vegetables and grapes make up a growing share of this at 61% (compared with 50% in 2000). These products, most of them irrigable and thus more resistant to drought, helped to offset losses in the cereals sector due to hot and dry conditions this summer.

However, disparities persist: incomes are higher and less unstable in valley regions than in mountainous areas. Apart from that, overall, not all farms are booming: 39% of them recording a fall in profits this year.

The figures were published in the wake of two nationwide votes in September on the future of Swiss agriculture, one of which aimed to boost the fortunes of small farms, the other focused on ensuring ethical standards on all imported food. Both were rejected.



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