Today, the national football teams of France and Belgium will confront each other at the first semi-final game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Having won the championship in 1998 and known for its high-level football, France is looking for another opportunity to win the prestigious tournament. Likewise, France is known internationally for its cuisine and agricultural production. Located in Western Europe, France is a midsize country with a total territory of 643.801 square kilometers, which is about the same size as Texas. With territories spread throughout numerous continents, France has a variety of climates and terrains, from tropical coastlines to snow-capped mountains. Likewise, the country has a total of 4.853 kilometers of coastline. Currently, France has a total population of 67.1 million citizens, 80% of which live in an urban setting, notably the capital city of Paris with 10 million inhabitants. The national annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about US$2.8 trillion (PPP) and the country has experienced positive economic growth in recent years. The French economy is divided into 2% agriculture, 20% manufacturing, and 78% services. Similarly, it is estimated that the agricultural industry employs 3% of the national labor force, while manufacturing employs 18% and services employ another 79%. Meanwhile, the agriculture industry utilizes 53% of the national territory, while another 29% is forested.
Agriculture and Macroeconomics in France
In terms of natural resources, France has coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, and arable land. Within manufacturing, the national industry is focused on machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics, and textiles. Simultaneously, France’s agricultural industry has as main products wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes, beef, dairy products, and fish. During 2016, France imported US$550 billion worth of goods and exported US$498 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of US$52 billion. Furthermore, that same year, the country’s main export, representing 9.9% or US$49 billion of the country’s total, were helicopters, planes, and spacecraft (notably from Airbus). On the other hand, the country’s main import, representing 5.8% or US$32 billion of all international purchases, were cars. In terms of trade, France belongs to the European Union and uses the Euro as its national currency. Therefore, its main trading partners are Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, China, and the United States.
In recent years, the daily average per capita protein intake of animal origin amongst the French population has been 69 grams. Simultaneously, land distribution and output in the country have evolved throughout the last half century. Back in 1961, permanent pastures and meadows in France covered 13.1 million hectares, while arable land covered 19.6 million hectares and permanent crops accounted for 1.8 million hectares. More recently, by 2015, permanent pastures and meadows had decreased to 9.3 million hectares, while arable land represented 18.5 million hectares and permanent crops covered almost 1 million hectares. Likewise, in 1961, the cereals market in France utilized 9.1 million hectares of land and yielded approximately 20.8 million metric tons annually. Finally, by 2016, the country devoted about 9.6 million hectares of land to cereals production and yielded 54.7 million metric tons.