Visions of future agricultural production systems in Sweden

Last changed: 13 November 2020
Crop field with house in background. Photo.

The bigger the better? Or small is beautiful? This research Project develop four different agricultural visions. The aim is to conceptualise different problems and opportunities for a future more sustainable food production and the need for societal environmental solutions.

Having a systems understanding of different types of production systems and land use is central to developing future sustainable food systems. Four visions of production systems are discussed on the basis of how they relate to the current public debate on agriculture and on the basis of the consequences they have for different environmental goals. Expectations in society of different production systems and what the different visions mean for a future agriculture in a changing climate are also discussed.

The public debate surrounding the agricultural production system is often very simplified and insufficiently nuanced and omits the complexity and the system feedback mechanisms that are deeply inherent characteristics of agriculture. The local diversity in land use and production systems is enormous and depends, among other things, on factors such as the landscape, capital and knowledge.

Through interviews with farmers in central Sweden, four different categories of agricultural visions have been developed and are discussed in the project:

  • The productivistic vision
  • The optimizing and streamlining vision
  • The managing/governing vision
  • The idea-based vision
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