Possible synergies between productivity and the environment

Emissions of greenhouse gases from Swedish agriculture have decreased over time. One reason is increased productivity, not least increased yields per animal and per hectare. For example, the number of cows has decreased by 75% since 1960, but milk production has only decreased by 20%. Increased productivity in agriculture can increase competitiveness and production while reducing emissions per product. In this project, we investigate what the technical development in plant cultivation and animal husbandry from 1980 to 2020 has meant for the environment. In order to be able to separate technical development from other trends in production and consumption, we calculate the environmental impact that would have arisen if we had produced as much food as today, but with 1980s production technology. The analysis is performed using the simulation model CAPRI. The project will be completed in 2021.

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