Both visitors and locals are often fascinated by Liechtenstein's groomed landscape that contributes to the high quality of life in the Principality. It is only thanks to the hard work of those in the agriculture and forestry industry that this landscape can be preserved in its current form.
Agriculture and forestry employ only around 0.8% of the workforce in Liechtenstein. While forestry activities are carried out by the state and municipalities, 125 private farms and more than 20 mountain farms as well as numerous hobby undertakings work the majority of the 40% of land in the country suitable for farming.
Agriculture is responsible for a range of issues important to the population in Liechtenstein. These include preserving the country's cultivated landscape, maintaining its many habitats, protecting the soil through careful land use and protecting the environment by using sustainable farming methods. Farmers see themselves as service providers tasked with maintaining the landscape. Around 35% of the farms in Liechtenstein are organic.
Liechtenstein's climate and topography mean that most of the surface area suitable for farming is grassland primarily used for grazing cattle and sheep. Around 1300 hectares are used to grow crops, with almost all of these fields located on the valley floor. Animal products, in particular milk and meat, are an important source of income for farmers. There are around 60 dairy farms in the country producing 14 to 15 million kilos of milk per year. Almost half of the gross output generated by the agriculture industry comes from livestock farming.
Liechtenstein's forests cover a total of 6865 hectares, equivalent to 43% of the country's total area. Therefore, forests are one of the main features of the landscape and in areas with steep mountain slopes protect the population from natural hazards.
Tree felling is carried out exclusively according to the principles of natural siviculture, with around 25,000m³ of wood cut down every year. The aim is to maintain healthy, structured forests comprising a good mix of trees appropriate to the respective location and able to serve a range of purposes in the long term.