Visions of future agricultural production system in Sweden

Last changed: 17 April 2019
agricultur-visions.jpg

The bigger the better? Or small is beautiful? In a new research project, we 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.

The structural transformation of farms is a rapidly on-going large process in Sweden. Farms enlarge their holdings of arable land and animals, a process resulting in a smaller number of farmers managing an increasingly specialised production.

A production system depends on many factors

However, within the farming landscape there is a broad local diversity in land uses and production systems which depends on, among other things, factors such as landscape, capital, knowledge and agrarian politics. At the same time the societal debate about agriculture land use is often simplified and omits the complexity and the system feedback that are fundamental inherent characteristics of agriculture.

One way of deepening the social debate about food production/consumption is to understand different production systems as different visions of how future agriculture should look like.

Four agricultural visions

Through interviews with farmers in central Sweden we develop four different categories of agricultural visions which we call;

  1. the productivistic vision,
  2. the optimizing and streamlining vision,
  3. the managing/governing vision and
  4. the idea-based vision.

With the help of these visions of future agricultural production we conceptualise different problems and opportunities for a future more sustainable food production and the need of societal environmental solutions.

Page editor: GUNILLA.LEFFLER@SLU.SE