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The sustainability of Swedish agriculture in a coevolutionary perspective

Saifi, Basim (2004). The sustainability of Swedish agriculture in a coevolutionary perspective. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria, 1401-6249 ; 469
ISBN 91-576-6499-4
[Doctoral thesis]

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Sustainability is a social construct that must be addressed contextually both in relation to what a society views to be unsustainable, and in respect to how and why a course of non-sustainable development comes to be pursued. This thesis argues that the challenge of agricultural sustainability can be fruitfully addressed within an analytical framework that consciously and explicitly considers agricultural development as consisting of processes of coevolution involving agriculture and the ecological and socioeconomic systems. The model presented indicates that strengthening of local coevolutionary processes is a probable precondition for achieving sustainable agriculture. Conditions for following a sustainable path of agricultural development in Sweden are already good and are still improving. On the national level, the costs of improvements in sustainability are decreasing, while the benefits are increasing. On the global level, the historical decline in food prices should not be expected to continue in the coming decades because of both resource limitations and environmental degradation. Ten principles and consequently ten indicators are identified that may help to promote agricultural sustainability in Sweden within the context of strengthened local interaction and interconnectedness. When the model of coevolution and the indicators derived are applied to Swedish agricultural development during the twentieth century, the following conclusions are reached. First, a new system of traditional agriculture emerged during the nineteenth century in relation to various interactive forces within the socioeconomic system. This system was improved during the first quarter of the twentieth century and became capable of producing much more food than the old traditional system. Second, Swedish agriculture was transformed during the second and third quarters into a modern industrial system characterized by various agro-ecological problems and the uncoupling of resource flows from the surrounding ecological and socioeconomic systems. Third, agricultural sustainability during the twentieth century was generally improving and high during the first quarter, deteriorating and low during the second and third quarters, and improving and low during the fourth quarter. Fourth, the potential for substantial improvement in agricultural sustainability in Uppsala Municipality is very large.

Authors/Creators:Saifi, Basim
Title:The sustainability of Swedish agriculture in a coevolutionary perspective
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria
Year of publishing :September 2004
Number of Pages:225
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-6499-4
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E10 Agricultural economics and policies
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:sustainability, agricultural development, environmental degradation, environmental policies, socioeconomic development, sweden
Keywords:sustainable agriculture, coevolutionary processes, principles of sustainability, Swedish agriculture, Uppsala, local interaction, agricultural development
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ID Code:643
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Institutionen för landsbygdsutveckling (fr.o.m. 960901)
Deposited By: Staff Epsilon
Deposited On:23 Sep 2004 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:06

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