Climatically diversified Sweden belongs to the leading oats producing countries
Swedish agriculture in brief
Although Sweden is one of the largest countries in Europe in terms of area, the cultivated area is only some 2,7 million hectares - about 6,5 percent of Sweden’s total land area. The country’s climate is diversified. Agriculture faces very different conditions in the north compared to the south.
The animal production is playing a central role in Swedish agriculture. Over 50 percent of Swedish farms have animal production. The Swedish dairy sector accounts for around one third of the animal production measured in production value. Poultry is the fastest growing animal sector and this production has increased by around 40 percent in the last ten years. The number of dairy cows has, however, been decreasing over a long period of time. Sweden has a strict animal welfare legislation.
Swedish crop production is dominated by cereals, mostly barley, oats and wheat, as well as by grassland. Some 40 per cent of arable land is sown to cereals. Cereals and cereal products are Sweden’s largest export products.
The food industry is Sweden´s fourth largest manufacturing industry and it plays an important role in raising value by transforming agricultural products into high-quality food and drinks.
The main part of Swedish agri-food exports go to other European countries, most of which to Nordic countries. The largest individual markets for Swedish exports are Denmark, Finland, Norway and the US.
Room for improvement
The number of people engaged in agriculture is steadily decreasing. About 2% of the economically active population is engaged in farming. The farmers’ average age is high, 74% are older than 50 years.
In Sweden, Thursday's lunch is reserved for pea soup and pancakes. They are on the menu in every Swedish lunch restaurant and staff canteen.