Agriculture has a significant position with respect to the environment, especially due to the amount of land and water it uses. Agriculture is recognised to produce both positive (e.g. carbon sequestration) and negative environmental externalities (e.g. water pollution), that are not reflected in agricultural GDP as there are few markets for these externalities. The value of the positive and negative externalities generated by agriculture are likely to be substantial, but no comprehensive monetary assessment of these costs and benefits currently exists.
Agricultural land area
Agricultural land area is defined as the land area that is either arable, under permanent crops, or under permanent pastures. Arable land includes land under temporary crops such as cereals, temporary meadows for mowing or for pasture, land under market or kitchen gardens, and land temporarily fallow. Land abandoned as a result of shifting cultivation is excluded. Land under permanent crops is cultivated with crops that occupy the land for long periods and need not be replanted after each harvest, such as orchards and vineyards. This category excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber. Permanent pasture is land used for five or more years for forage, including natural and cultivated crops. This indicator is measured in hectares.
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