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Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in Sweden

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Agricultural innovation in Sweden has sought to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the agri-food sector by ensuring a high level of environmental and animal welfare standards, while raising the productivity and financial viability of farms. The policies enacted to date have contributed to a high level of consumer confidence in the quality and methods of food production, but challenges remain. These include adapting new technologies that will further strengthen the high environmental, animal welfare and food standards within a more balanced regional and open trading system. In view of the high production costs in Sweden, there is a need to continue with structural adjustments and better targeted investments in the agri-food sector, as well as to improve the level of interactions between research institutions and farmers to ensure that innovative techniques are adopted by all participants.

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The Swedish agricultural innovation system

This chapter describes the Swedish Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) and outlines recent changes. It provides an overview of the general innovation system; identifies the actors in agricultural innovation and their roles; describes main trends in public and private investments in agricultural R&D, and discusses mechanisms to foster knowledge flows and national and international collaboration; and gives an overview of policy incentives for the adoption of innovation, outlining the role and diversity of knowledge and innovation intermediaries, including farm advisory services. The final section describes research outcomes and impact, as well as innovation adoption in primary agriculture and food processing firms.

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