Agriculture globally will have gone through a year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, showing a resilience that was not evident in many other sectors of national economic activity", can be read in Agricultural Statistics 2020, released today by INE. The statistical institute points out that, in 2020, exports of agricultural and agri-food products, except beverages, "increased 5.8 percent compared to the previous year (an evolution contrary to the reduction of 10.2 percent registered in global exports of goods)". Imports "decreased 1.8 percent, reflecting an improvement in the balance of trade (decrease in the deficit of 429.7 million euros)".
According to INE, "the 2019/2020 agricultural year was meteorologically characterized by a normal autumn in relation to air temperature and precipitation, followed by an extremely hot (second hottest since 1931) and dry (78 percent of the average value) winter )". "The regions south of the Tagus registered situations of meteorological drought, with greater persistence and severity in Baixo Alentejo and Algarve. Spring and summer continued to be classified as very hot, with emphasis on July (the hottest since 1931)" , highlights the INE.
As for environmental indicators, still relating to 2019, the institute states that Portugal is the Member State of the European Union "with the lowest consumption of mineral fertilizers (nitrogen and phosphorus), recording in 2019 an apparent consumption of 31 kg [kilograms] per hectare of Agricultural Area Used (UAA), less than half the EU27 average".
"In 2019, 2.2 kg of active substance from the main groups of pesticides were sold per hectare of UAA, a proportion above the EU27 average (1.8 kg of active substance per hectare of UAA)", representing 5.3 percent of UAA certified for organic production, with the target for 2030 being 25 percent. The importance of greenhouse gases "emitted by agricultural activity in Portugal in 2019 (10.1 percent of total GHG emissions) was close to the EU27 average (10.3 percent)".