Family Farming Knowledge Platform

  The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Agriculture (with hunting, forestry and fishery) is the third largest sector after services and Industry. Share of the agricultural sector in the overall GDP around 10% (16% including agro-food industry). Arable agricultural land is 1.261.000 ha which represents 50,1% of the total territory. About two-thirds of the agricultural land are categorised as pastures, and the rest is arable agricultural land. Ploughland and vegetable gardens occupied most of the arable land in 2013 (81%), while orchards and vineyards accounted for about 7%. Cereals are grown on about 40% of the ploughland. About one third of the arable agricultural land (173 thousand ha) is covered by irrigation systems, and about 80 thousand ha are covered by drainage systems. With regards to its relief features, the overall territory has a hilly-mountainous structure, with the greatest prevalence of areas at altitude between 200 and 2.000 meters.


The territorial distribution of the population in the Republic of Macedonia indicates that around 44% of the total population lives in predominantly rural regions. A high share of rural population lives in small-scale settlements. Of the total 1,767 settlements in the Republic of Macedonia, 964 are inhabited by 1 to 1.000 people.

Rural economy is mainly represented by small enterprises (including micro businesses), which focus their economic activity on the local/regional markets. Almost all enterprises in the primary agricultural production are located in the predominantly rural regions. The food processing industry (except for meat processing and slaughtering facilities) is located in the rural areas, due to the proximity of agricultural raw materials. However the agriculture remains the main economic activity of the population in the rural areas. 17.3% of the total active population in 2012 was employed in agriculture. Of the total number of people employed or otherwise involved in agricultural sector, 77% are employed under the economic status of full-time or part-time "unpaid family worker".

The average size of arable land per agricultural holding according Farm Structure Survey 2013 was 1,85 ha of agricultural land. However, over 58% of agricultural holdings are in the category that cultivates less than 1 ha of agricultural area, and about 20% are in the category of agricultural holdings with 1-2 ha. According to the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) within MAFWE, most of the parcels are smaller than 0,2 ha. Individual agricultural holdings possess more than 80% of the arable land, and the rest of the land is state-owned.

Due to the current land structure, the participation of small, family farms is dominant in the Macedonian agriculture sector. According to Farm Structural Survey in 2013, in Macedonia there were 170.885 farms, out of which only 304 legal entities. In general the families farms are characterized by very small-scale and fragmented agricultural land properties which limit their incomes, make the production cost-ineffective, and continuously endanger sustainability of the agricultural activity. Labor intensive crops like fruits and vegetables, tobacco and herbs etc. provides comparably better development opportunities than traditional, the most represented cash crops like cereals. According to farms typology, the share of the mixed farms in the total is quite high (38%).          

The horizontal integration at farm level is almost absent, whiles vertical relations dysfunctional, usually confrontational, with disproportionate distribution of the value to the post-harvest participants in the chain. 

Policy support is set to respect the current sector structure through low eligibility criteria for the plied capacities, and as a result very significant part of the support goes to the family farms (98%). It provides equal access to all users without preference categories and winners. The members of the small family farmers are supported to realize their entrepreneurial ideas and investment activities to increase and modernize the production facilities. The concrete policies are: distribution of state-owned agricultural land, half co-financing of the investments, exemption from income tax, and very favorable social payments. As especially important measures to support small farmers stand out the government's efforts to support the formation of cooperatives, strengthen contracting, and launching of policies land of consolidation.


This text is kindly provided by the authorities of this country.

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National Committee for Family farming Macedonia

Non-governmental organization
The NCFF in Macedonia aims to to be strong democratic and legitimate actor doing advocacy for family farming.
North Macedonia