Ireland has a much higher percentage of its territory and population living in rural areas compared to the EU average. Ireland has an estimated 6.9 million hectares of land, of which about 64% are suitable for agriculture. Ireland has 127 000 active farmers and the total labour productivity in this sector is high. However, despite high levels of productivity, employees in this sector have low-income levels compared to other sectors of the economy. The agri-food sector accounts for 4.3% of the country’s economy (total GVA). Irish exports of agri-food products account for around 9% of total merchandising exports.