Although the gross value added of Malta’s agricultural sector dropped by 3.5% to €57.3m in 2018, the sector appears to have been quite stagnant in the past five years, the latest figures published by the National Statistics Office (NSO) reveal.
This all comes despite the fact that the sector has been eligible to quite some funding. The NSO report notes that the agricultural sector was assisted through the delivery of a range of financial aid through EU-funded programmes — amounting to €25.4m — which helped the net operating surplus of the sector to increase by 31.4% €71.4m.
The sector’s output increased only by a slight 0.2% to €122.1m, while expenses incurred under intermediate consumption rose by 3.8% to €64.8m. Additionally, consumption of fixed capital increased by 6.4% to a total of €6.8m, while compensation of employees rose by 7.9% to €4.5m on total, according to NSO figures.
“Ultimately, upon adding the latter surplus to the negative net property income of €1.1m recorded in 2018, the net entrepreneurial income of the sector is estimated to have improved by 32.1% to €70.3m,” the NSO report says.
Although, produce coming from secondary agricultural activities has seen growth, it was offset by drops in crop production. Agricultural holdings were up by 7.3%, animal products increased by 1.9% and livestock products grew by 1.6%; while crop production fell by 2.9%, according to NSO figures.
Intermediate consumption, which measures specific expenses incurred during the production processes of the agricultural sector, was mainly marked by increases in livestock feeding expenses, energy and fuel costs by 5.7% and 2.9%, respectively, the NSO report adds.
EDITORIAL NOTE: For further details and representation of data see the NSO’s official report available through its website.