Total agricultural land area for the world = 4.9 billion ha

July 16, 2014

Totals for the world in 2011 (summary):


Total Agricultural area: 4.9 billion ha Which includes (see definition below):
Permanent meadow and pasture: 3.36 billion ha
Arable land: 1.4 billion ha (agricultural cropland this is not growing same crop continuously as in coffee)
Permanent crop land: 154 million ha (e.g. coffee, cocoa)


Actual data (for 2011, in 1000 ha):
Total Arable Land: 1,396,279.54
Total Permanent Crop Land: 153,937.10
(So roughly 1.5 million has is in crops if include permanent plants like coffee trees)
Total Permanent meadow and pastures: 3,358,646.00
TOTAL OF ABOVE = Agricultural Area for the world is: 4,911,622.65 (1000 ha)


FAO glossary of terms and definitions:​


Agricultural Area: "Agricultural area, this category is the sum of areas under a) arable land - land under temporary agricultural crops (multiple-cropped areas are counted only once), temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow (less than five years). The abandoned land resulting from shifting cultivation is not included in this category. Data for “Arable land” are not meant to indicate the amount of land that is potentially cultivable; (b) permanent crops - land cultivated with long-term crops which do not have to be replanted for several years (such as cocoa and coffee); land under trees and shrubs producing flowers, such as roses and jasmine; and nurseries (except those for forest trees, which should be classified under "forest"); and (c) permanent meadows and pastures - land used permanently (five years or more) to grow herbaceous forage crops, either cultivated or growing wild (wild prairie or grazing land). Data are expressed in 1000 hectares."

Data from FAOSTAT, (Resources, Land, Regions: World + (Total), Elements: Area, Items: Agricultural area, Arable land, Permanent crops, and Permanent meadow and pastures, Years: 2011; accessed June 9, 2014),
Definition: "FAOSTAT: Glossary (list)," Food and Agriculture Organization, last modified 2013, accessed June 9, 2014,,

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