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Eriksson, Viktor, 2017. Problematizing productivity : exploring patterns of thought in the swedish national food strategy. First cycle, G1N, G1F, G2F or GXX ( G2F). Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



This thesis explores what agro-political discourses define the Swedish National Food Policy from 2017. By analysing how the problems of environmental sustainability and productivity are addressed, the study aims to excavate unearthed ways of thinking. The findings show that environmental sustainability is assumed to be attained through increased and intensified production, hoping to
substitute ‘unsustainable’ international produce with Swedish ‘sustainable’ produce on the world market. Environmental sustainability is also addressed through
intensification, as it is understood as a matter of resource efficiency. By examining how productivity is problematized, the study finds the presence of two understandings of the concept: as ‘resource productivity’ and as ‘value
productivity’. The latter is shown to be very similar to profitability and competitiveness. Through the conceptualization of productivity as ‘profitability’,
policy responses to achieve productivity are promoted in part through a 'simplification rationale' that is used to scrutinize different environmental policies specific to Swedish agriculture. ‘Simplification’ is also employed to open for an overhaul of the law on land acquirement, as the national strategy hopes for a structural rationalization spearheaded by transnational capital. Marginal smallholders
are being advised to diversify and find income support through extensification measures in the Rural Development program. The study argues that the aspiration for this divergent development, the ‘dichotomization of landscapes’,
must be seen as a break from earlier ‘productivist’ policies emphasizing the family farm as primary unit of agricultural production. The results of this study repeatedly point to the conclusion that the National Food Strategy is subscribing to a ‘neo-liberal’ discourse. The results also reveal how ‘multifunctional’ elements interact with and reinforce the neo-liberal discourse.

Main title:Problematizing productivity
Subtitle:exploring patterns of thought in the swedish national food strategy
Authors:Eriksson, Viktor
Supervisor:Sandström, Emil
Examiner:Hansen, Kjell
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2017
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G1N, G1F, G2F or GXX
Student's programme affiliation:NY007 Agriculture Programme - Rural Development 270 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:WPR, agriculture, discourse, Sweden, strategy, policy, problematization, agricultural, sustainability, productivity, intensification
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agriculture - General aspects
Agricultural economics and policies
Deposited On:04 Sep 2017 06:54
Metadata Last Modified:04 Sep 2017 06:54

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