Agriculture and forestry represent a small part of gross value added in Norway, but their presence across the country makes them critical drivers of land use and the natural environment.

The Food and Agriculture Review of Norway is part of a series of country studies that use the OECD Agro-Food Productivity-Sustainability-Resilience Policy Framework to analyse how the overall policy environment can foster productivity growth that is supportive of environmental sustainability and resilience. The challenge of reconciling these objectives is common to all countries, but shaped differently in each.

Norway is delivering unevenly across its four agricultural policy objectives: the country enjoys a high level of food security and meets its aim of maintaining agricultural production across the country; however, environmental performance and the efficient creation of value added along the food chain are compromised by support policies that are linked to production levels. Support to producers relative to gross farm receipts is the highest among OECD countries, with 59% of farmers’ revenues coming from government support. Only 3% of total support to agriculture is dedicated to research and innovation, and although the country has strong public research institutions and well-designed tax deductions the private sector lacks the right policy incentives to innovate.

This Review proposes a new policy approach, centred around innovations that would enable Norway to improve the productivity, sustainability and resilience of its agro-food sector. Specific recommendations include increasing the responsiveness of the sector to markets, giving farmers greater flexibility when making production decisions, placing greater emphasis on agri-environmental outcomes, and attributing a greater role for the private sector in the area of research and innovation.

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