The global need for food fibre and fuel 2

Se konferensen på film här!

– how do we address constraints/opportunities to meet the demands?

In the last ten years or so, there has been a sharply increasing international focus on the need to produce more food, bio-energy and wood fibre. The reasons are many, more or less obvious, and interlinked in often complex ways.

With the globalisation of economies, industrial processing, and trade flows, these needs for increased production of plants for different purposes, and the enormous array of issues related to them, have acquired international prominence of unprecedented nature. Virtually every UN-body, development bank, international policy and research institutes, global and local environmental and social NGOs, and others with programmes or mandates touching upon agriculture, forestry, environment and/or energy have launched programmes, held seminars and conferences, produced studies and reports, and/or got engaged in research and advocacy work. 

 The production of the “three Fs” – food, fibre and (bio-)fuel – as they are popularly referred to (sometimes a fourth F, feed, is added, referring to the production of animal protein), have one thing in common: they all rely upon photosynthesis, and therefore they all require suitable land to grow on. The issue of if and where there is land, and particularly reasonably good and productive land, available for the required increases in the production of food, fibre and fuel has become one of the most hotly debated issues in recent years, as the global competition for such land increases almost exponentially. 

The purpose of this seminar, and the first one held on 27 September, is to present and discuss a comprehensive overview of the current situation and thinking regarding global production of food, fibre and bio-fuel, and to focus on the issue of land availability for such production. The seminars are a joint initiative by four of KSLA’s Committees (see above). They are international in character, but also point at the relevance of these issues to the Swedish green sector, e.g. in the fields of development cooperation, trade, business opportunities, etc.

In the first seminar, focus was on presenting facts on demand, supply, production, and trends, where and how production is currently done and projections on what will happen in the next 20 years, for food, fibre and fuel, and on availability of, and competition for, land for this production. In this second seminar, focus will be on the technical, economic, social and environmental issues that must be addressed in order to achieve the required increase in production from limited land areas available. For more information on the background to the seminars, see

Moderator of seminars: Mr. Lennart Båge, Ambassador and ex-President IFAD.


09.00 Coffee and registration
09.30 Welcome and presentation of KSLA
Mr. Åke Barklund, General Secretary and Managing Director, KSLA
  Introduction to the seminars- their purpose, scope, structure and goals
Summary of seminar No. 1
Dr. Björn Lundgren, Chair KSLA Committee on International Forest Issues
09.50 Session 1: The productivity of land and how this can/must be increased in a sustainable way.

Presentation No. 1: Prof. Mats Olsson, SLU, on soil management requirementsPresentation No. 2: Adjunct Prof. Johan Kuylenstierna, Stockholm Environmental Institute, on water management requirements
10.30 Session 2: Economic and related issues.Presentation No. 1: Mrs. Gabriella Cahlin,Head of the Market Department, Swedish Board of Agriculture, Trade flows, trends, barriers and challenges in some key agricultural markets.Presentation No. 2: Mrs. Hanna Wetterstrand, programme officer, Vi Agroforestry, Constraints at the household level (e.g. access to markets and tenure rights)
11.15 Session 3: Social issues.Presentation: Dr. Jeremy Woods, Lecturer in Bioenergy, Imperial College, UK
11.45 Session 4: Environmental issues.Presentation: Dr. James Stevenson, Agricultural Research Officer, CGIAR Science Council, Rome
12.15 Lunch in Oscars Källare
13.00 View from countries in Africa with perceived land reserves.Presentation: Mr. Mafa E. Chipeta, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa, Addis Ababa
13.45 Cases with Swedish involvement. There are several examples where Swedish commercial and public companies, managers, and research institutions are involved in larger food, wood and bio-energy production programmes outside Sweden. Five such cases will be presented, viz.:

  1. The StoraEnso forest companyis involved in various forms of wood raw material production, e.g. in Brazil, Uruguay, China, Laos, etc. Their experience in negotiating land deals and managing large plantations will be presented.  Mr. Heikki Rissanen, Group Forest Operations, StoraEnso 
  2. On the bio-energy side, Swedish companies or managers are, or have been, involved in Tanzania, Liberia, and in Sierra Leone, where the manager of the Switzerland based Addax Bioenergy, that develop a Greenfield sugarcane estate and also focus on smallholder agriculture, is Swedish. Mr. Jörgen Sandström, Vice-President
  3. The Environmental Economics Department of Gothenburg University carries out a research programme on “Implications of big bio-fuel investments in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania”. Presentation by Dr. Jörgen Levin 
  4. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences: how does its education and research programme contribute to addressing the issues of the seminars? Prof. Johan Schnürer, Assistant Vice-chancellor, SLU.
14.45 Coffee
15.00 Panel – discussion and questions.Panel made up of some of the speakers above plus possibly two-three more.
15.45 Summary and round-up by moderator and KSLA organisers

 Registration: as per 21 November at the latest.

Fee: SEK 500 (Fellows and students: SEK 200)


This seminar is a joint undertaking by the four KSLA Committees on International Forestry Issues, International Agricultural Issues, Energy Issues and Sustainable Development. The seminar is financed with support from the A.W. Bergsten and Carl Fredrik von Horn foundations.

iCal Import + Google Calendar