The idea behind increasing competition in agriculture is to reduce production costs, provide consumers with cheaper food and at the same time make farmers better able to withstand competition from foreign goods. In this way, it should be possible to maintain a comprehensive agriculture throughout the country. The industry has been given an important role in the efforts to achieve the political goals of dispersed settlement in Norway.
The role of agriculture as a food producer is, of course, but not as emphasized as before. But agriculture is responsible for the production of other goods, such as a beautiful cultural landscape and a production that is at the least possible disadvantage to the natural environment. From seeking to offset differences in size, production form and climatic differences, it is now important to prioritize agriculture in the districts and farmers who derive all or most of their income from agriculture.
In 2013, Norway was granted a minority government by the Right and the Progress Party. In the government’s political platform, emphasis is placed on strengthening property rights and the farmer’s right to dispose of his property. The government will work to abolish the concession law, the place of residence, the ban on sharing and price control.
The Government will maintain the agreement institute with emphasis on predictability and reforms for increased profitability on larger farms and those living with agriculture. The state transfers are arranged with a view to increased production.
Management and legislation
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the State Agricultural Administration are responsible for implementing the agricultural policy the Storting sets, administers legislation related to agriculture, issues regulations based on the legislation and pays subsidies.
On the side of this structure is the Food Safety Authority, which is responsible for controlling the production and supply of food. At the county level, the National Agricultural Agency is a separate department at the county governor’s office, headed by an agricultural director with responsibility for agriculture, forestry and agricultural-related rural development.
The municipalities are responsible for the municipal agricultural authority, and they are free to organize the agency and the political control.
Agriculture is regulated by a number of general laws, such as tax laws, and special laws that regulate larger or smaller parts of the industry. Among the most important of these is the law of the land. Its purpose is to maintain agricultural land. The Cultivation Act and the Concession Act have been established partly to maintain the tradition of the farm following the family and partly to prevent agricultural properties becoming the object of economic speculation. The latter has been done through provisions both on the obligation to live on the agricultural property a person buys, and to operate it professionally as required by the Land Act.
This duty to live and work is the responsibility of all properties larger than 100 acres, of which at least 20 acres are agricultural land. Both the Cultivation Act and the Licensing Act are the subject of discussion. The Sales Act provides an opportunity to levy fees to regulate the market for agricultural commodities.
Higher education in agricultural sciences is offered in the education program for natural agriculture. The offer is to a large extent to be found at the former county municipal agricultural schools, which are now included in the higher education system. There are also private schools.
The Norwegian University of Environmental and Life Sciences (NMBU) at Ås offers higher research-based education in the full range of agricultural sciences, ie life sciences, food, environment, natural and resource management, economics and landscape architecture at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. Some state colleges offer studies in agricultural sciences.
The formal responsibility for the agricultural education lies with the Ministry of Education and Research.
Historical development in area and crop
|Total agricultural area||Wheat||Building||Oats||potatoes||Fully cultivated meadow||Scary in all||Grazing in all|
|1000 acres||1000 acres||1000 acres||1000 acres||1000 acres||1000 acres||1000 acres||1000 acres|
|1900||9 880||50||395||970||365||7 555||647|
|1939||10 414||412||468||870||507||8 216||904|
|1959||10 107||93||1 407||646||526||4829||6 629||1562|
|1969||9 863||38||1 847||541||326||4584||6 169||1717|
|1979||9 535||170||2 001||1 007||214||4157||5 388||1330|
|1989||9 911||382||1 760||1 322||189||4385||5 478||1139|
|1999||10 379||516||1826||913||149||4879||6 448||1216|
Developments in the number of farms
|Use everything||–49 acres||50-99 acres||100–199 acres||Over 200 acres|
|1949||213 441||150 130||42 526||15 597||5188|
|1969||154 977||88 481||42 240||17 938||6318|
|1979||125 302||62 017||32 716||21 632||8937|
|1989||99 382||37 031||24 969||25 330||12 052|
|1999||70 740||14 517||16 720||22 286||17 217|
|2009||47 688||6273||8363||13 867||19 185|
Before 1999: Includes farms with at least five acres of agricultural land in operation. From 1999: Includes farms with less than five acres of agricultural land in operation, mainly with milk production and horticulture.
Livestock development (in 1000)
|Horse||cattle||Cow||Avlssvin||Sheep (over 1 year)||milk Goat||laying hens|
|1949||197||1 205||756||56||–||–||3 044|
|1959||116||1 099||594||62||834||75||2 668|
|1999||27||1 033||350||100||955||52||3 181|