SWEDEN – A farming organisation has hit back at finance minister claims that agriculture will not survive in Sweden.
The Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) has this week responded to a damning prognosis of Sweden’s agriculture from Minister of Finance Anders Borg (pictured) which included a recommendation that farmland make way for urban expansion.
Speaking to Swedish agricultural magazine Farmland and Forestry, Minister Anders Borg wrote off the dairy sector as negligible to the nation’s broader economy.
The comments followed the national economic outlook, delivered by Mrs Borg last week, which suggested a return to economic 'normality' after years of financial and debt crisis.
This LRF reacted by saying that Swedish dairy farming alone earns 6.2 billion crowns, of which 2 billion goes to the tax man.
This is enough to fund over 4,500 nurses, the LRF added.
“The requirements for Swedish farmers are the hardest in the world. They should be - that's partly why we have the world's healthiest dairy cows,” said the LRF.
The LRF called on more government support and listed population growth as a reason to back farming.
It queried why Nordic neighbours have more subsidy payments and listed population growth as a key reason why farmers should receive more government help.
“The availability of food in the world will almost double by 2050, and each year the demand for milk will rise,” said the LRF. “With our unique conditions for dairy, Sweden could be a major exporter of milk and milk products - if only the political conditions existed.”
“We have a good climate, plenty of pasture and water, and we have an effective and climate milk production in Sweden - Swedish milk has the lowest carbon footprint in all of Europe.”