Work Package 5

WP5 – Scenarios for Norwegian agricultural policies and agricultural production

The aim of WP5 is to develop different development trajectories or scenarios for Norwegian agriculture. These scenarios will then be analysed both individually and comparatively to provide a knowledge basis for the generation of policies to promote bioeconomic growth. Norway’s core productions of meat, dairy and grain, and associated land use, landscape changes, environmental and veterinarian aspects, and bio-economic, socio-economic and socio-cultural aspects will be incorporated in the scenarios and subjected to interdisciplinary analsyis.
Three scenarios will be created to reflect the dominant discourses in public and scientific debate on the utilization of Norwegian land based bio-resources and agriculture:
1. Business as Usual – An extrapolative scenario based on the current level of economic support and import tariffs and border protection. On-going trends with gradual restructuring; fewer and larger units in the more central areas, increasing abandonment in rural areas, but still agriculture all over the country.
2. Food production based on maximum use of national bio-resources in terms of fodder and grazing. Increased levels of economic support, upholding current border protection and import levies. This involves a much more extensive use of the outfields (utmark) and possibly also cultivation of new land.
3. Liberalisation: Abandon subsidies to agriculture, removal of most border import barriers, except for veterinarian and other health related control and barriers.
All scenarios will be used to explore the outcomes of a possible weak, strong and pluralistic bioeconomy (Levidow et al., 2012; Marsden, 2012). Further, because Norway’s canalisation policies focused production on grain in the central areas and animal husbandry in the uplands, fjords and valleys, predictions of change to the spatial distribution of agriculture and the bioeconomy are likely to be important outcomes of the scenario analysis.

The scenarios will analyse (1) land use and land use changes and potentials, the relationship between infield–outfields and new cultivation, (2) the significance of the channelling policy within the various scenarios, the effects of it being phased out, and the resulting influence on crops and grain/dairy land use, and thus landscape development, (3) potential crop developments, primary production and land use under different regional preconditions such as climate, soil and agronomic conditions, and the degree of market liberalisation, (4) socio-cultural and socio-economic factors related to types of productions, business managers/farmers, demographic and ownership changes, and recruitment, and (5) agronomic challenges, animal and plant health and, animal welfare. The scenarios will also provide a basis for quantitative prediction models and simulations.

In addition to utilising existing data and competences that exist in the collaborating partners’ institutions, this WP will use data generated through AGRISPACE (WP4) and draw on input and findings from the on-going BIONÆR funded project AGROPRO (Agronomy for increased food production. Challenges and solutions) (2255330/E40), which assesses the agronomic potential for increased food production in Norway.

Scenario projects have previously been successfully completed at several of the participating institutes (see eg. Soliva et al, 2008; Mittenzwei and Nersten, 2004; Brastad et al, 2003). Input on international drivers and framework conditions will be obtained through the project’s international collaborators. While Austria is currently deregulating some of its major productions (e.g. milk quotas), New Zealand represents a full-scale experiment in the liberalisation of agricultural policies (Burton and Wilson, 2012). Comparing experiences from this will form the basis for analysis of factors central in a Norwegian liberalisation scenario. As veterinarian regulations concerning animal and human health are likely to remain the main border protection under a liberalisation scenario, special attention will be paid to analyse Norwegian veterinarian regulations and compare these to the New Zealand experience.

This WP will deliver its main results and reports about two thirds way through the project, both in order to provide knowledge and input to policy decision-making, and to provide input to the analyses and discussions forming the main conclusions in the overall project. Scenarios will be developed and analysed in collaboration with the reference group.
Work package leader: Katrina Rønningen, CRR. Additional participants: NFLI, NILF, Bioforsk, NVI, Hugh Campbell, New Zealand & Markus Schermer, Austria