Agriculture and livestock farming in the Basque Country

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Nafarroa Beherea and Zuberoa are the provinces where agriculture and livestock farming have the greatest incidence on economy. As regards the characteristics of the agriculture, the type practiced in the northern side of the Cantabrian-Mediterranean watershed is different to the type which has more importance in the southern side of this watershed.

In the northern side, a geographical area which covers the north of Araba, Biscay, Gipuzkoa, north of Navarre and the provinces of Iparralde, the livestock is more important than the agriculture. The size of the farms is smaller than on the southern side; they are mainly oriented to breeding cattle and sheep for milk and meat production. Characteristic features of this area are meadows and pastures, next to smallholdings dedicated to forage crops also for the livestock. It is also an area which, due to its orographic characteristics, presents a lower degree of mechanisation than the southern side.

On the southern side, in the centre and south of Araba and Navarre, the agriculture has greater weight compared to livestock farming, with a predominance of cereal, horticultural and vineyards over large areas. As regards the type of livestock, in this area the greatest indexes of production correspond to the poultry sector (Araba) and the pig (Navarre).