Evaluation of Skåne County’s capacity to be self-sufficient in foodstuffproduction: now and for the years 2030 and 2050.

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper

Abstract:

Sweden is becoming increasingly dependent on the import of foodstuffs from a globalfood system that is unsustainable due to its responsibility for environmental degradation and itsdependency on finite resources like fertilizers and fossil fuels. The diminishing ability to be selfsufficientin a time when peak oil, climate change, environmental degradation, exponentialpopulation growth, and a troublesome global economy might reshape the structures of the currentsystems, in a not so distant future, could be a cause for great worry. Skåne County has functioned asa case study to investigate the level of self-sufficiency in foodstuffs at the present time and theprospects for self-sufficiency in the future. Forecasts for the years 2030 and 2050 have been madebased on five different variables: population size, production and consumption, climate change,available agricultural land, and the transition toward a sustainable agricultural system. At thepresent time, with today’s consumption patterns, the foodstuffs that are produced in Skåne Countycan sustain around 78% of the population. For the forecasts, different scenarios have been generatedby adjusting the five variables within a reasonable range. Scenarios are also in the forecasts inwhich suggested proactive implementations to enhance the possibilities for self-sufficiency havebeen included. Due to these proactive implementations and the high degree of uncertainty withinsome variables, the result ranges from a 16.7% self-sufficiency level up to 111.6%. In order to reacha 100 % level of self-sufficiency there are strong indications that this will require structural systemchanges as well as behavioral changes

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