Pilot survey on land rent statistics. Report to Eurostat Directorate E
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Administrative data on rent prices do not exist in Norway. Statistics on this topic must either be based on direct observation and/or network of experts. The System of Application for Governmental Production Subsidies (PRO) includes information on rented agricultural land per holding distributed on arable land, permanent grassland and unutilised land. PRO includes 99.7 per cent of the utilised agricultural land in Norway and thus is an excellent target population for surveys on rent prices. The Norwegian Agriculture Agency (NAA) has been working out annual statistics on rent prices for quite many years. These statistics cover a selection of important crops and are based on expert assessments. The existing statistics do not provide the results requested by Eurostat. Based on this background a pilot sample survey on agricultural land rents in 2013 was launched by Statistics Norway. The sample was drawn among holdings in PRO. After some limitations the target population amounted to 27 300 holdings and 3 002 of these were included in the gross sample. The survey was voluntary and 1 656 holdings responded, corresponding to a response rate of 55. Average renting prices were estimated at regional and country level for arable land, permanent grassland and total agricultural land respectively. Evaluated by region and type of land, the results of the survey seemed reasonable. Also comparison with the Census of Agriculture 1999 was satisfactorily. The pilot sample survey also included renting prices for the same crops as included in the NAA survey. Average renting prices in the pilot survey were lower than the prices in the NAA statistics for all specified crops. The relative difference varied significantly by crop. Different data collection method is assumed to be the main reason for the difference in average prices between the two surveys. After internal discussions and meeting with NAA, Statistics Norway has decided not to establish an annual survey based on direct observation. There are several reasons for this: - Resources are scarce at Statistics Norway. Introducing new statistics would probably cause closing down of other important statistics. - Collection of data directly from holders would increase the response burden. - The NAA conducts a well established statistics. These statistics cover national needs beyond the Eurostat requirements, e.g. regional renting prices for selected important crops. If Statistics Norway should include these needs, resource requirements and response burden would further increase. The Norwegian Agriculture Agency has accepted to continue the annual statistics and to take steps to adapt it to fulfil the Eurostat methodology.