End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Access to food is good in Sweden. Hunger is among the exceptions. Although there are no exact figures, the occurrence of malnutrition in children is marginal. Very few children in Sweden suffer from growth retardation due to malnutrition. Data instead points to an increase in overweight and obesity in society over the past decade. This increase is tangible in the age group 16-29 years. More than half of all adults in Sweden are overweight or obese. However, there are elderly people who suffer from malnutrition. There are differences and inequalities in eating habits and health that are closely associated with socio-economic situation, educational level and income.
Swedish agriculture is not small-scale. Data shows an increasing productivity in Swedish agriculture. Sweden’s production value per annual full-time equivalent has increased in total over the past decade. Employment in the agricultural sector, measured as the number of full-time equivalents in the sector, has fallen continuously over a long period of time. At the same time greenhouse gas emissions per unit produced has decreased. Swedish animal production has a low use of antibiotics.
The production capacity of Swedish farmland is assessed to be good. The status of the ecosystem services of cultivated land is assessed to be satisfactory today. The commitment regarding a sustainable agricultural area lacks an agreed definition. If the proportion of organically cultivated area, which however does not have a globally accepted definition, is used as an alternative indicator, this area has continuously increased in Sweden since 2005. According to the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s 2017 follow-up of Sweden’s environmental objective “A Varied Agricultural Landscape”, which includes the preservation and strengthening of biodiversity, the development is negative.
Existing and adopted policy instruments are considered insufficient. According to compilations by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, just over 60 per cent of the local breeds are at risk in Sweden. The Programme for Diversity of Cultivated Plants (POM) has collected seeds and other older varieties throughout Sweden. The seeds are preserved in the Nordic Gene Bank. POM reintroduces old cultivated plants on the market. The Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, which works with projects supporting the conservation of genetic resources in developing countries, is supported by Swedish development cooperation.
Sweden’s challenges regarding Goal 2 include tackling the population’s increasing overweight and obesity, ensuring environmental sustainability and biodiversity in agriculture and strengthening all sustainability dimensions in the entire food chain.
Swedish development cooperation is to contribute to responsible investments for increased productivity and sustainability in agriculture (including forestry) and for sustainable fisheries. Women have a central role for food security, and interventions to ensure women’s rights to own, utilise and inherit land and other natural resources constitute an important area for Swedish development cooperation. In 2015, approximately SEK 803 million of the total Swedish aid went to agricultural interventions in various parts of the world.