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Högele, Leonie, 2022. Sheep rearing in Sweden : a niche with agroecological potential. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)



Sheep production in Sweden is an agricultural sector that today exists merely as a small niche, despite its agroecological potential. Through literature research, a survey and 18 semi-structured interviews, this paper defines the sector’s marginality and attempts to explain it. The effects of the sector’s marginality on the sustainability of Swedish sheep farming and agriculture as a whole are evaluated. Finally, desirable directions for development of the Swedish sheep sector are suggested. The findings showed that the marginality of the Swedish sheep sector to a large extent is a product of socio-cultural factors that affect the structure of the sheep sector. Not least, the sector’s marginality reinforces itself. In addition, bio-physical, historical and political circumstances have played a role in marginalising the sector. Several weaknesses and strengths regarding sustainability were recognized within the current, small-scale structures of Swedish sheep farming. Opportunities were identified through which the sheep sector could actually contribute to agricultural sustainability precisely through its marginality. Equally, threats to sustainability that arise from the sector being limited to its niche were acknowledged. Overall, the findings suggest that it would be beneficial for the Swedish sheep sector to grow if agroecological, sustainable farming is the ultimate goal. Whether this growth can and will be achieved, however, is questionable.

Main title:Sheep rearing in Sweden
Subtitle:a niche with agroecological potential
Authors:Högele, Leonie
Supervisor:Bernes, Gun and Hofny Collins, Anna
Examiner:Herlin, Anders Henrik
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2022
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)
Keywords:sheep, marginality, Sweden, sheep sector, rearing, sustainability
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural economics and policies
Animal husbandry
Deposited On:26 Apr 2022 10:28
Metadata Last Modified:27 Apr 2022 01:02

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