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Agriculture in Norway. Norsk Landbrukssamvirke. Norway. 4.8 million inhabitants Part of Europe, but not member of the EU Agreement with the EU (EEA) – full integration in most sectors, but not agriculture. Agriculture in Norway has Several Different Functions.

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agriculture in norway

Agriculture in Norway

Norsk Landbrukssamvirke

  • 4.8 million inhabitants
  • Part of Europe, but not

member of the EU

  • Agreement with the EU

(EEA) – full integration in

most sectors, but not


agriculture in norway has several different functions
Agriculture in Norway has Several Different Functions
  • Produce safe food.
  • Ensure the food supply.
  • Contribute to maintaining employment and population levels throughout the country.
  • Contribute to the cultural heritage.
  • Contribute to environmental benefits such as the agro-biological diversity, land conservation and high standards of plant, animal and public health.
  • Norway is the northernmost country in Europe. Its mainland extends from 58 degrees to 71 degrees north, a total distance of about 1750 km, greater than the distance between Oslo and Rome.
  • The country’s population density is the second lowest in Europe, only Iceland has a lower density.
  • The arctic and sub-arctic conditions in Norway are characterized by a harsh climate, low temperatures and a short growing season, which varies between 100 and 190 days, largely dependent on latitude and distance from the sea.
agricultural products
Agricultural Products
  • The main productions are dairy and meat products, eggs, cereals and temperate fruits and vegetables.
  • The production is almost entirely destined for the national market and plays an important role in ensuring national food security, sustaining the viability of rural areas and safeguarding certain environmental qualities.
arable land
Arable Land
  • Arable land is scattered all over the country and represents only a fraction – 3 percent - of the total area in Norway.
  • Only about 1/3 of the arable land is suitable for cereal production. Generally, this land is located in the lowland of south eastern Norway.
  • The remaining 2/3 of arable land is only suitable for grass production. This land is generally located in the fjord and mountain areas and in northern parts of the country.
composition of different land types
CompositionofDifferent Land Types

Source: Multifunctional agriculture - the case of Norway, Ministry of Agriculture and Food

production costs

When it comes to agriculture, Norway faces unusually high production costs for a number of reasons:

Harsh climate + long distances + a difficult topography + a low population density + small-scale structure + a general high cost level

= high costs and a very low degree of competitiveness to world market prices.

increase in efficiency
Increase in Efficiency
  • Structural adjustments in the agricultural sector have contributed and will continue to contribute to reductions in overall cost levels.
  • However, the scope for such reductions is relatively limited due to natural conditions.
  • There is also the question of whether it is desirable to move too far in such a direction as this would negatively impact rural employment, agricultural landscapes and bio-diversity.
developments in agriculture
Developments in Agriculture

Agriculture has undergone a rapid development in recent decades towards fewer and more efficient holdings. This development has taken place without any reduction in the agricultural area in use.

In the last 25 years:

  • the number of holdings that use the soil themselves has fallen by 56 per cent
  • man-years carried out in agriculture have fallen by 50 per cent
  • the number of holdings with dairy cows has fallen by 65 per cent

Source: Statistics Norway

in the same 25 year period
In the same 25-year period:
  • the production of meat has increased by 75 per cent
  • milk production has fallen by approximately 20 per cent
  • the degree of self-sufficiency is almost unchanged at approximately 50 per cent
  • the average area of a holding has increased by 140 per cent

Source: Statistics Norway

number and size of holdings
Number and Sizeof Holdings

Source: Statistics Norway

key figures
Key Figures
  • 47 900 holdings (2009):

- 11 700 with dairy cows

- 15 400 with sheep

  • 10.2 million da agricultural area in use (2009):

- meadows make up 65 per cent of the area

- grain and oil seeds 31 per cent

- 4.3 per cent of the area is organic farming

  • 60 100 man-years in agriculture (2007):

- women carried out around 1/4 of the man-years

- agriculture accounted for 2.3 per cent of the total employment (2009)

Source: Statistics Norway

agriculture s share of gdp and employment
Agriculture’sShareof GDP and Employment
  • Agriculture made up 0.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) (2009)

Source: Statistics Norway