Rome, November 1 - The number of agricultural companies active in Italy shrank by 32.2% between 2000 and 2010, more than double the pace of the contraction in the earlier decade, according to a new sector report by the Italian Geographic Society. Total land surface used for agricultural purposes in Italy in the period fell by 2.3%, according to the report outlining the "New Face" of rural activities in the eurozone's third largest economy. "Agricolture has lost large swathes of space as a result of the cement building process," said Fabio Pollice, who teaches at the University of Salento and helped draw up the report. "Agriculture offers great contributions to the development of the nation. "If there is a sector that is very innovative, it is that of agriculture".