The Administration of Technical Agricultural Services (Administration des services techniques de l'agriculture – ASTA) was set up in 1967.
ASTA operates under the authority of the member of the Government whose remit includes the Department of Agriculture.
Its tasks are defined in the Law of 30 November 1976 concerning its reorganisation.
ASTA's tasks include, within the limits fixed by the applicable laws and regulations, and without prejudice to the statutory and regulatory provisions laying down the attributions of other State bodies, the following tasks in particular:
- furthering technical progress in the field of agriculture, orienting and developing animal and plant production, encouraging productivity and stimulating cooperation in the agricultural sector;
- tackling issues relating to agricultural land, farm buildings, mechanisation of agricultural holdings, land use and rural planning, rural roads, meteorology and the environment in the agricultural field;
- promoting the quality of agricultural products and carrying out analyses relating to the composition and quality of agricultural products and means of production;
- ensuring compliance with the legislative and regulatory stipulations relating to agricultural products and means of production, plant protection and the protection of plant products; monitoring the application of legislation relating to agricultural and trade union associations;
- participating in the drawing-up and application of EU rules.
ASTA is composed of a Directorate and three divisions.
It should be noted that the respective tasks of the various departments, as provided for by Article 3 of the Law of 30 November 1976 on the reorganisation of the Administration of Technical Agricultural Services, are determined by Grand-Ducal Regulation.
The Directorate is the body to which all ASTA's divisions and departments are answerable. It directs, coordinates and monitors their activities, establishes relations with the authorities and the public, and organises the continuing training of staff.
Rural Engineering Division
The Rural Engineering Division is comprised of the departments chiefly responsible for the improvement of production and operating factors, such as land and farm buildings, and rural road works and repairs carried out for and on behalf of the State, municipalities and trade union associations, namely:
– at the central level:
- the Coordination department,
- the Meteorology department,
- the Structural Improvements department;
– at the regional level:
- four regional departments.
The areas covered by the various districts, and the location of their headquarters, are determined by Grand-Ducal Regulation. The number thereof may likewise be modified by Grand-Ducal Regulation.
The Agronomics Division is composed of the departments involved in the improvement of agricultural productivity and the quality of products, namely:
- the department of livestock production,
- the department of plant production,
- the department of organic farming,
- the department of horticulture,
- the department of plant protection,
- the department of seed and plant propagating material certification,
- the department of agri- environment.
Control and Test Laboratories Division
The Control and Test Laboratories Division is comprised of the departments tasked with checking agricultural products and means of production from a quantitative and qualitative standpoint, namely:
- the Chemistry department,
- the Residues Detection department,
- the Biochemistry and Microbiology department,
- the Pedology department.