Welcome to the Alentejo


Agriculture in the Alentejo

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Porcos Alentejanos
Beaf cattle

The Alentejo

... area is commonly known as the "bread basket" of Portugal.

With very few exceptions all the major towns are mainly reliant on agriculture, livestock and wood. Typical products from this area are grain, sunflower, carthame, fruit, vegetables, olives, wines, cork, eucalyptus, lamb, pigs, kid, granite, schist and marble.

Portugal is the world's largest export nation of tomato purée and also one of the leading export nations of wine. These exports provide the break-even for wheat- and meat imports.

A third of the area of Portugal is forest and most of the mountainous areas are quite suitable for forestry. The forest by-products like cork, resin, pine- and eucalyptus wood, the market stock of which has risen, have been found a rising demand in industry. In the years from 1995 to 1998 we have had a reforestation of pine, cork oaks and eucalyptus trees in the order of 130 hectares.

In Alentejo there are about 37.000 farms,

with an average area of 47.1 hectares while the average area of farms in Portugal is 8.6 hectares. The permanent pasture and fallow ground occupy about 62% of the Useful Agricultural Area; cereals stand out from the temporary cultivation, with about 29%. The area with permanent cultivation is devoted mainly to olives, followed by vineyards. According to 1993 statistics, grapes are produced in 3 932 farms, representing 10.6% of the region’s total produce and occupy about 13 500 hectares. The average area of vineyard per farm in the Alentejo is 3.4 hectares while the average area of vineyard per farm in Portugal is 0.9 hectares. Even though the Alentejo’s viticultural area is relatively small in comparison with other regions and with the national total as it is concentrated in geographically well defined areas, it is very important economically and the main source of income for the nearly 3 000 viticulturists in the Alentejo.


This page shows basic information. There is no guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the given facts. The page is regularly updated.

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