Guardian analysis shows intensification in farming across the EU with a rise in livestock numbers while millions of farms disappear

The EU is to introduce sweeping reforms of farming subsidies this week to try to halt the decline of small farms and protect them from the intensification of agriculture fostered by decades of previous policies.

Janusz Wojciechowski, the EU agriculture commissioner, said: “My intention is that this process of disappearing small farms should be stopped. The European food sector in the past was based on small farms, and it should be in the future as well.”

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