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Agricultural census - FSS 2013 - History


The systematic statistical data service on agriculture looks back to more than 100 years of history in Hungary. Before the first census in Hungary only data from some segments of agriculture were collected.

The first census was implemented in Hungary in 1895 and covered all characteristics of agriculture (land, livestock, labour force). The second census of 1935 also was a comprehensive survey and had a speciality, whereas the indebtedness of farms also was observed. The international recommendations (issued by the predecessor of the FAO, the International Agricultural Institute in Rome) have been taken into account during the implementation of this census.

After the World War II the agriculture and subsequently the system of statistical data collection on agricultural production were undergone a thorough transformation. From the 1970’s the small-scale household farming appeared together with the state farms and agricultural co-operative farms established as consequence of nationalisation. Beside the regular observation of large-scale farms, HCSO also collected data on the agricultural production of small-scale household farms.

In the years between 1956 and 1959 a nation-wide orchard survey, in 1960 the survey on agricultural machinery, and between 1961 and 1963 a nation-wide vineyard survey was carried out by the HCSO.

In 1972 Hungary joined the FAO World Census of 1970 and fulfilled also the international data requirements. For this time censuses were conducted in Hungary at 10-year regular intervals and between the censuses statistical observation took place through the consistent annual data collection system based on the latest census.

The census of 1981 was also linked with the recommendations of the FAO World Census. In case of the large-scale producers one full scope observation was carried out, while five sample surveys covered the performance of small-scale producers.

In the 90’s following the change of political and economical system in Hungary far-reaching changes were taken place in the society and in the agriculture, as well. As a result of the privatization the private farming ousted the earlier overwhelming state ownership and two key groups of farming – the individual and corporate ones – became characteristic for the Hungarian agriculture. In the respect of agricultural statistics it is also a considerable change that the ownership and use of land sharply separated from each other whilst the number of farmers living within city boundaries has increased.

In 1991 HCSO conducted the first census after the change of political system in 1989. Following this census in 1994 a farm structure survey was implemented, but this survey had an incomplete coverage and included only a narrow range of characteristics. The main deficiency of this survey was not covering the farmers living in the urban areas.

The Agricultural Census 2000 (AC 2000) is a historical milestone in the chronicle of Hungarian censuses. This was the first comprehensive survey that, apart from meeting the data needs of FAO, was also compliant with the relevant EU regulations. Based on the results of AC 2000 the data set for the EUROFARM database were compiled and provided to EUROSTAT.

Before the Census of Vineyards and Fruit Plantations in 2001 (CVFP 2001), the land areas of plantations were surveyed on a full-scope basis almost after 40 years.

During the negotiations talks Hungary has committed itself to carry out the Farm Structure Survey 2003 (FSS 2003) according to EU relevant regulations. The FSS 2005 implemented by HCSO in November 2005 was the first survey carried out after the accession of Hungary to the EU. The FSS 2007 was implemented between 12 and 30 November 2007. After these surveys the micro-data of agricultural holdings were sent into the EUROFARM database handled by EUROSTAT.

The FSS 2010 was the seventh of its kind and it was the first one implemented by Hungary as an EU member state. The census implementation had two specific feature in 2010, firstly in case of private holdings questions on agricultural production methods (so called modul part of the questionnaire) were collected only in a pre-selected sample, secondly during the preparatory and data production phase administrative sources were more widely used than in case of any previous FSSs.

The FSS 2013 was implemented by HCSO in June 2013. It was the first time when the private holdings had the opportunity sending their data in electronic format, while it was compulsory for the agricultural enterprises. The sample covered every 4th survey district. Besides regular questions on land use, livestock, labour force, the respondents were also asked for their on agricultural buildings data after 13 years (AC 2000) and on agricultural machinery data after 8 years (FSS 2005).