As we have a limited productive area on our one and only planet, land use is an important issue. Global demand for cultivated raw materials is increasing as a result of an increasing population. More and more land is being converted to farmland, sometimes at the expense of other important values. Displacement of biodiversity, local populations' human rights, soil erosion and poorer protection against floods and storms are some examples. Another important issue is soil fertility.
The method of cultivation affect yields, soil fertility and the surrounding environment in the long and short term. This involves supply and leaching of nutrients, soil compaction and more. We have to meet everyone's needs for food from the capacity of our one planet, while protecting other raw materials and the ecosystem services we need. Cultivation must be adapted to soil type, climate and other local conditions. We need to use fertilisers and other inputs strategically and balance the area of agricultural land against requirements for short and long-term yields.
Sweden and the Nordic region have the potential to increase the acreage of farmland/agricultural land. At the same time, we are dependent on imported raw materials from countries where intensive farming is a major challenge. We must ensure responsible sourcing of these through increased knowledge, dialogue and relevant requirements.