Uruguay - Agriculture

Uruguay has a primarily agricultural and pastoral economy, but the importance of these sectors has been declining. The formation of the Mercosur common market in 1995 had a significant effect on Uruguayan agriculture by providing preferential access to neighboring countries, particularly Brazil. Agriculture and animal husbandry together contributed 6% of the GDP in 2001. About 40% of the agriculture's contribution to GDP comes from crops and the rest is from animal husbandry. About 77% of Uruguay's land area is devoted to stock raising and 7.4% to the cultivation of crops. In pasturage, large farms predominate, with farms of more than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) accounting for two-thirds of all farmland. Crops are grown mainly on small farms of less than 100 hectares (250 acres).

The principal crops harvested (in thousands of tons) in 1999 were rice, 1,328; wheat, 377; barley, 111; corn, 243; sorghum, 106; sunflower seeds, 161; oats, 45; apples, 74; and peaches, 25.

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