Swiss farms embrace cheap tractors

Fewer people are working on Swiss farms than ever before, having been replaced by more and more machines, statistics reveal.

This content was published on March 2, 2012 - 13:15 and agencies

The Federal Statistics Office said on Friday that the number of farms in Switzerland slipped “well below” 60,000 last year, but that some 3,000 new tractors were put into circulation.

It said some 134,000 tractors in total were now in use, a rise of ten per cent over the past 15 years. During the same period, the number of farms had decreased by a quarter.

Spokeswoman for the Swiss Farmers Association Sandra Helfenstein told the Swiss News Agency the statistics demonstrated that in agriculture, fewer people were doing more work.

President of the Swiss Association for Agricultural Machinery Jürg Minger said the devaluation of the euro against the Swiss franc had lowered prices of tractors.

“Tractors are about 20 to 25 per cent less expensive. More than one farmer has profited from it,”  Minger said.

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