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Census of Agriculture


The Census of Agriculture investigates information on agricultural establishments and agricultural activities developed inside them, including characteristics of the producers and establishments, economy and employment in the rural area, livestock, cropping and agribusiness. Its data collection unit is every production unit dedicated, either entirely or partially, to agricultural, forest or aquaculture activities, subordinated to a single administration – producer or administrator –, regardless of its size, legal nature or location, aiming at producing either for living or sales.

The first Census of Agriculture dates back to 1920, and it was conducted as part of the General Census. It did not take place in the 1930s due to reasons of political and institutional nature. From 1940 onward, the survey was decennial up to 1970 and quinquennial later on, taking place in the beginning of the years ending in 1 and 6 and relating to the years ending in 0 and 5. In the 1995-1996 Census of Agriculture, the information was related to the crop year (August 1995 to July 1996). In the 2006 Census of Agriculture, the reference for the data returned to be the calendar year. The 2006 edition was characterized both by the technological innovation introduced in the field operation, in which the paper questionnaire was replaced by the electronic questionnaire developed in Personal Digital Assistants - PDAs and by the methodological refinement, particularly concerning the redesign of its contents and incorporation of new concepts. That edition also implemented the National Address List for Statistical Purposes - Cnefe, which gathers the detailed description of the addresses of housing units and agricultural establishments, geographic coordinates of every housing unit and establishment (agricultural, religious, education, health and other) in the rural area, bringing subsidies for the planning of future IBGE surveys. The 2017 Census of Agriculture returned to reference the crop year – October 2016 to September 2017 –, though in a different period than that adopted in the 1995-1996 Census of Agriculture. New technologies were introduced in the 2017 survey to control the data collection, like: previous address list, use of satellite images in the PDAs to better locate the enumerator in relation to the terrain, and use of coordinates of the address and location where the questionnaire is open, which allowed a better coverage and assessment of the work.

The survey provides information on the total agricultural establishments; total area of those establishments; characteristics of the producers; characteristics of the establishments (use of electricity, agricultural practices, use of fertilization, use of agrotoxins, use of organic farming, land use, existence of water resources, existence of warehouses and silos, existence of tractors, machinery and agricultural implements, and vehicles, among other aspects); employed personnel; financial transactions; livestock (inventories and animal production); aquaculture and forestry (silviculture, forestry, floriculture, horticulture, permanent crops, temporary crops and rural agribusiness).

The periodicity of the survey is quinquennial, though the surveys in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005, 2010 and 2015 were not carried out due to budget restrictions from the government; the 1990 Census of Agriculture did not take place; the 1995 survey was carried out in 1996 together with the Population Counting; the 2000 survey did not take place; that of 2005 was carried out in 2007, together with the Population Counting once again; that of 2010 did not take place and that of 2015 was carried out in 2017. Its geographic coverage is national, with results disclosed for Brazil, Major Regions, Federation Units, Mesoregions, Microregions and Municipalities. The results of the 2006 Census of Agriculture, which has the calendar year as the reference period, are not strictly comparable with those from the 1995-1996 Census of Agriculture and 2017 Census of Agriculture, whose reference period is the crop year in both cases.