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NEWS - 19. April 2018 11:55

SEB: new farmers are bringing innovation to the sector

Enterprises in the agricultural sector are mainly focused on the local market and their willingness to export remains low. Only 4% of agricultural enterprises are planning to enter new markets and 12% of them are hoping to expand on the existing markets, revealed the Baltic Business Outlook conducted by SEB.

The plans of agricultural enterprises have remained the same throughout the years and 31% of them are going to make further investments exceeding EUR 30,000 this year. This means that the sector exceeds the Estonian average by 17 percentage points. Their prognoses related to the number of employees have also remained relatively stable when compared to the previous year, as 4% of enterprises in the agricultural and forestry sectors believe that their number of employees will decrease and 13% believe it will grow.

14% of the agricultural enterprises are interested in hiring foreign workers and 7% of the entrepreneurs have already hired additional labour from outside Estonia. Both of the figures have grown significantly year-on-year – 10% and 3%, respectively. In the agricultural sector, the number of enterprises looking towards innovation is lower than Estonia’s average by 10 percentage points (60% and 70%), remaining at the same level as last year. The greatest number of enterprises are planning to update their products or services. Also, only 35% of the enterprises in the agricultural sector see value in digitalisation, which is a whole 20 percentage points lower than the Estonian average. New enterprises provide a breath of fresh air in the agricultural sector, as 74% of them are planning innovative activities and 57% see the future in digitalisation.

What remains stable is the agricultural enterprises’ assessment of the different aspects of responsible entrepreneurship, but while last year they put the sector among the lowest-ranking ones with their assessments, this year they place it much higher.

In December 2017, SEB carried out the Business Barometer 2017 survey for SMEs, where they mapped the enterprises’ hopes for the next business year. A total of 1,565 small and medium-sized enterprises participated in the survey. Among the participants of the survey were 151 enterprises from the agricultural, fishery and forestry sector.

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