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Swedish agriculture is an industry of the future

Published: March 7, 2023, 10:00 a.m. Updated: March 9, 2023, 09:34 a.m.Both the Ukraine war and the ongoing climate crisis have focused on the important role of agriculture for the future of the planet. – We have an obligation to contribute to strengthening our self-sufficiency, increase the production and use of renewable energy and produce more sustainable and climate-smart food for a growing world population. With the right conditions, the green industries will be industries of the future, says Anna Karin Hatt, President and CEO of LRF. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hit Swedish food production hard. LRF’s own business cycle index Green Business Index shows that in 2022 all green industries (forest owners, entrepreneurs in local food and drink, horse owners, milk producers, animal producers, contracting and horticultural companies) all suffered from greatly increased costs for inputs such as fuel, electricity, fertilizer and lining. On top of that comes the recession and reduced purchasing power of many consumers: – Many farmers worry about their future liquidity, high and uncertain electricity prices but also the demand of food consumers. The ability of entrepreneurs to manage increased and more complex risks has become even more important in the past year, says Anna Karin.Prosperous green nutrition essential for the climateAlthough much of the debate is now about the security crisis and the energy crisis, perhaps the biggest crisis – the climate crisis – remains as a bottom plate waiting to receive renewed attention. – Swedish agriculture and forestry are already among the most sustainable in the world. We have worked for a long time and systematically to reduce our climate and environmental impact through new knowledge, efficient use, good advice and new technology, says Anna Karin. Increased production for global needsWhen climate change changes the conditions for producing food in several important parts of the world, it risks leading to more people not being able to eat their fill. As temperatures rise and the climate becomes drier, the growing conditions around the equator will change. – Relatively speaking, we in the north will have better conditions for food production in the future. Therefore, we in the north will have both an obligation and an opportunity to produce more food, not only for ourselves but also for the outside world. An increased Swedish food production means that more people will be able to eat their fill of sustainably produced food, Anna Karin continues. More varied climateBut even in the northern latitudes, increased temperatures will change the possibilities for growing and producing food. The season is getting longer and the heat makes it possible to produce things that the climate today is too cold for. A warmer climate opens up new crops, higher growth in the forest and bigger harvests. But a more and more varied climate, and greater investments to protect against extensive rain and severe drought will also be required in Sweden. – We are already far ahead, but it is not enough that we maintain the “status quo” in Swedish agriculture. In order to continue to reduce the sustainability footprint from Swedish consumers’ grocery bags, and contribute to covering the world’s future food needs, Swedish food production, organic as well as conventional, needs to increase, says Anna Karin. Can contribute a lot of new renewable energyAnother topic that is being debated extensively right now is how Sweden can quickly get more new renewable energy on site. Here, too, Swedish agriculture can contribute with part of the solution. LRF, the business organization for entrepreneurs in the green business world, has proposed a combined Energy package consisting of a Solar package, a Biofuel package, a Biogas package, better conditions for making use of small-scale hydropower, increased production of district heating and green electricity from cogeneration plants, better processes and increased compensation for expanding the electricity transmission capacity and clear investments in energy efficiency. – Our message and offer to politicians is that the entrepreneurs in the green business world can contribute with part of the solution to the energy crisis. With the right incentives, Swedish agriculture can contribute an additional 50 terawatt hours in new clean energy production, says Anna Karin. Transition to a sustainable societyIt is clear that Swedish agriculture and forestry wants to be involved in changing to a sustainable society where fossil emissions are phased out, while ensuring the food supply: – Investing in Swedish agriculture is more important than ever. With the right conditions, we have the world’s chance to improve the conditions, increase production and at the same time strengthen Sweden’s preparedness and supply capacity, concludes Anna Karin. Read more at www.lrf.se The article is produced by Brand Studio in collaboration with the Farmers’ Confederation and not an article by Dagens industri

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