Agro-ecological diversification in meat and dairy farms : barriers and drivers in the European and Swedish policy
Abstract: Food systems are increasingly characterised by specialisation and separation between ani-mal and crop production, as well as the use of food suitable for human consumption for feed. The regionalisation of production creates hotspots for environmental degradation and decreases the resource use efficiency. A concept opposed to this system is agro-ecological diversification, which creates links between animals and plants and seeks to harness the positive role that livestock can play in food production. This thesis explores the relationship between agro-ecological diversification and the EU and Swedish agricultural policy to understand the role that policy can play, in the present and in the future, to enhance crop-livestock integration. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with actors working with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and were then integrated with a literature and policy review. The results show the insufficient role that the CAP plays in encouraging agro-ecological diversification, especially due to con-flicting priorities and an increased market and productivist orientation. Direct payments to farmers do not seem to have a direct effect, but they might deviate resources to agro-eco-logical diversification measures. Nevertheless, some positive measures were found, such as investment support, support for organic production and promotion of short food supply chains. Voluntary Coupled Support might also create, in Sweden, the prerequisites for a more diversified system. From these findings, it is recommended that Swedish policy mak-ers tailor their policy measures and priorities towards an integrated production, the promo-tion of crops for human consumption and the correction of market externalities.
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