Over the past six years, subsidies to large farms have increased considerably more than the overall growth in subsidies to agriculture.
While the overall subsidies have increased by 13 percent between 2009 and 2015, the farms with over 500 acres of land experienced a grant increase of 59 percent, newspaper Nationen. This type of farms got 19 percent of the subsidies in 2009, but accounted for 27 percent last year.
– There has been a very strong shift towards large holdings. This is a policy that is going to change the structure of agricultural holdings over time, senior adviser Ivar Pettersen at the Norwegian Institute for bioeconomy (Nibio) says. Along with colleague Klaus Mittenzwei he has gone through the distribution of grants in the current period.
Pettersen believes this shift means that a larger portion of the grants can be expected to move to the lowlands where there are better opportunities for running larger farms.
– Although the regional differentiation in subsidies has not been compromised, the shift leads to an indirect negative effect on rural areas. The result may be that more land in rural areas will go out of service, and that the rate of closures will increase, the senior adviser said.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today