Italy is the third-largest economy in the euro-zone. Being a net agricultural importer, most raw materials and ingredients are imported, as Italy’s economic strength is in the processing and the manufacturing of goods, primarily in small and medium-sized family-owned firms.
Agriculture is one of Italy’s key economic sectors, accounting for approximately 2 percent of GDP. Italy’s agriculture is typical of the northern and southern division found within the European Union (EU). The northern part of Italy produces primarily grains, soybeans, meat, and dairy products, while the south specializes in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and durum wheat. Even though much of its mountainous terrain is unsuitable for farming, approximately 4 percent of the population (60 million) is employed in farming. Most farms are small, with the average size being eleven hectares.