Information on the agricultural system, and therefore on the country's capacity to produce goods to meet its own food requirements, is a fundamental element for understanding and guiding development. It is no surprise, therefore, that statistics on production in a strict sense (quantity of cereals, vegetables, meat by animal species, cheese, etc.) are available all the way back to 1861. The surveys performed during the course of the 19th century, however, were not capable of guaranteeing the coherence and completeness that was achieved when the responsibility for agricultural statistics was passed to the Central Statistical Institute with Royal Decree no.1035 dated 02nd June 1927. This transfer ensured improved data quality and structure, thanks to new information taken into consideration in addition to production, such as the areas used for different cultivations and the production methods used, according to a scheme which is still the main reference used for national and European agricultural statistics today.

Important examples of the role played by ISTAT in that period in promoting statistics on the sector are provided by the indications that were implement for the first time to the directors of Travelling agricultural authorities for the performance of the Second agricultural survey, as for the 1927 survey of fertilisers, performed in collaboration with the National Fascist Federation of Industrial Chemical Producers... full text


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