Food Supply Chains Production systems and input supply

Average size of agricultural holding


Calculated from census data on agricultural holdings and agricultural area. Areas used for forestry or fisheries are included only if crop and livestock production also take place in these areas. Communal land is not included.


Average size in hectares of an agricultural holding including land used wholly or partly for crop production or raising livestock. Data are from agricultural censuses representative of all farms or farm households in a country.


Average farm size varies regionally, though both large and small farms play critical roles in ensuring food and nutrition security (Herrero et al. 2017). In Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, small farms account for the majority of nutrient production and very small farms (less than 2 hectares) provide a source of income for millions of vulnerable smallholder farmers. Increasing average farm size may result from declines in rural population density, urbanization, and growth in non-farm job opportunities (Masters et al. 2013). Growth in farm size (where farm sizes are small) may enable increases in agricultural productivity and surpluses of food available for trade.