In most European countries, there has been a decrease in the number of farms, while the area of agricultural land has remained almost the same. This ongoing process of land concentration can affect Europe’s small farms and rural areas. The EU has acknowledged that the problem is serious and that, to solve it, it must be studied more closely. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to discuss changes in the agricultural sector from the aspect of land use, with emphasis on land concentration in Estonia, further scientific discussion about the effects of changes in land use on rural areas is encouraged. The study is carried out using two kinds of data sources: (1) statistical data from Eurostat, FAOSTAT and Statistics Estonia, (2) data from the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board. The conclusion of the paper is that while the number of farms is going down, the average area of agricultural land use per farm is on the rise in Estonia. Agricultural land has been increasingly concentrated into the hands of corporate bodies. This study shows that there is a status of land concentration in Estonia that needs ongoing studies and a proper policy should be established to mitigate the impact of land concentration.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited