Norges Vel has been pioneering the efforts to modernise agriculture in Norway. Today we are helping Norwegian farmers with knowledge and new technologies like solar energy and bio-energy to lessen the effect on the climate and develop new, greener business possibilities.
Norwegian agriculture is undergoing changes. Norwegian farmers are being required to think about how they will maximise their land's capacity, through expanding, increasing efficiency of current operations, or creating entirely new venues to their businesses. Norges Vel helps farmers utilise all of the farms resources and through this create new employment opportunities.
In addition to this, agriculture is an important area in which to reduce the release of greenhouse gases. Among other things Norges Vel is working to develop steps to effectivise fertiliser distribution, in addition to looking into using waste resources and bio-coal for soil improvement and carbon capture.
New opportunities in agriculture
For many farmers it is demanding to live only from the income from traditional farming. To increase recruitment into the agricultural sector, we have developed educational material about the issues of generational change and new business venues using the farm as a resource.
In the course «Business development on the farm» Norges Vel and Norsk Landbruksrådgivning (Norwegian agriculture consulting) developed an concept which takes the farmers from idea to implementation of new or expanded businesses based on the farms resources. The course is held many places in Norway and is also adapted to single industry applications like commercial beekeeping or farmbased bio-energy.
An important method for Norges Vel is to combine new research with development of new solutions to create nature based businesses in agriculture. In our projects we draw attention to local food specialities and agriculture as experiences. This work contributes to securing local food production and safekeeping Norwegian culinary culture and tradition.
Cooperation in agriculture
Cooperation has been fundamental to Norges Vel's work since it started. We were behind the founding of Norway's first cooperative dairy in 1856, Rausjødalen setermeieri, that was the predecessor to TINE, one of today's big cooperative organisations. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) was introduced in Norway via a project led by Norges Vel on Øverland farm in Bærum. Today there are more than 70 CSA farms in Norway.
We are actively working to create common ground and networks between research and agriculture to promote agricultural development and increase the value creation in local communities. Through networking and cooperation between research, business and the public sector we are contributing to the creation of new sustainable businesses.
Norges Vel works on creating cooperatives and solutions for food producers, in addition to developing local supply chains from earth to table. We are concerned with having healthier and more natural food production.
A supply chain Norges Vel developed from a to z is Norsk Matbygg SA which is a cooperative of farmers who produce barley for COOP and DUGA.
Climate adaptation in agriculture
A report about agriculture and climate change from the Agriculture and Food department concluded that taking new research technology and knowledge seriously is the one of the most important factors in minimising agriculture's strain on the climate. Our projects are contributing to the bio-economy by investigating climate adaptations in agriculture and seeking to turn climate issues into business opportunities.
We help the agricultural sector in a more environmentally friendly way through projects to help with green fertilisers, correct fertilising and surface run-off.
Waste from bio-gas facilities and fish slurry from aquaculture can become environmentally friendly fertilizers, wood from logging and husks left over from rapeseed oil production can be used as animal feed. Bio-coal can capture greenhouse gases whilst simultaneously contributing to better soil and harvests.