Skip to main content
SLU:s publikationsdatabas (SLUpub)

Forskningsartikel2023Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Farmers' motivations for landrace cereal cultivation in Sweden

Ortman, Tove; Sandstroem, Emil; Bengtsson, Jan; Watson, Christine A.; Bergkvist, Goran


The interest in landrace cereals, i.e. genetically diverse varieties with historical origin, has increased in recent decades. While several studies exist on farmer's motivations to grow landraces in a Global South context, investigations are much less common in the Global North. Through an interview study with 32 Swedish farmers that cultivate landrace cereals on a commercial scale, farmers' motivations to grow landrace cereals were explored. The farms in the study ranged from medium sized to large. The majority were located in areas with marginal agricultural land and less fertile soil. All farms sold the landrace cereals at advantageous prices as niche products and all except one were certified organic. The farmers' motivations for growing landraces were grouped around three themes: i) sustainable farming systems; ii) suitable agronomic traits; and iii) economic incentives. The first and overarching theme was that cultivation of landrace cereals fitted well with the farmers' ideals on sustainable farming, with for example less intensive weed control and novel intercropping systems, as well as enabling production of wheat with baking quality on marginal agricultural land. Cultivation of landrace cereals was framed in contrast not only to conventional farming, but also to 'conventionalised' high input organic farming. The farmers regarded producing and marketing landrace cereals as an important foundation for more sustainable and multifunctional farming and food systems. This reflected the farmers' perception of a lack of modern varieties suited for these systems as well as the ability of landraces to buffer risks of crop failure on marginal land.


Agrobiodiversity; cereal production; farmer motivations; landraces; multifunctional agriculture

Publicerad i

Biological Agriculture and Horticulture
2023, Volym: 39, nummer: 4, sidor: 247-268 Utgivare: TAYLOR AND FRANCIS LTD