The new recruits

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• Average farm size in the new states is smaller than that in the 15 original EU states, but regional differences exist. While small private farms dot Poland and Slovenia, large cooperatives dominate in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

• Farming characterised by low inputs and productivity. Total arable area may expand by about 3.9 million hectares (ha) by 2012 but not reach pre-1990 levels

• Total level of support per ha under the common agricultural policy considerably lower than in the present EU countries

• Only 8 per cent of Poland's two million small and inefficient farms are ready to compete within the EU

See table: Wheat up, rye down

• At least half of those employed in agriculture in central and eastern Europe suffer from hidden unemployment. New farm jobs not likely to absorb more than a fraction of this