Germany, the country of engineering ingenuity and industry, has always at the same time remained a country with a strong agricultural sector. Despite a high population density, half of the national territory is put to agricultural use. Around a million people produce goods worth around 50 billion Euro a year in approx. 270,000 agricultural enterprises. Farmers provide us with high-quality foodstuffs. They are also providing a growing contribution to energy and raw materials supplies. They shape and maintain the face of our country.
Germany's agricultural sector is among the four largest producers in the European Union. In order to feed the more than 200 million farm animals, around 50 percent of farmland is made up of grassland and arable land that is used for feeding purposes. For human consumption, the main production areas of the farming sector include, besides animal products, bread cereals, potatoes, sugar beet, oilseeds, fruit and vegetables. In addition, there are grassland and crop areas dedicated to the production of bioenergy and bio-resources.
The BMEL sees itself as a driver in the dialogue with social groups on the future of our agricultural sector. In view of scarce resources, the growing world population, with its rising food and energy requirements, represents both a challenge and opportunity for our farmers. It obliges them to pursue sustainable growth. Beyond that, modern farming caters for consumer wishes, handles the environment with care, sets store by animal welfare and constitutes a backbone of our rural regions.