Current trends show that the interest in urban agriculture and gardening is increasing in Norway. More and more people are discovering the joys of cultivating the land and harvesting their own food. In February 2021, the Norwegian government launched a new national strategy to facilitate the development of urban agriculture in cities as well as in rural areas.
Today, there are around 50 market gardens throughout the country. Due to the limited access to an allotment garden, more people have started planting edible plants in their gardens through housing associations and complexes . The interest in school gardens has also increased. In order to be able to stimulate urban agriculture, the strategy addresses three focus areas:
- Contribution to sustainable urban and spatial development through urban agriculture
- Promotion of increased knowledge about sustainable food production
- Promotion of increased sustainable value creation and business development in urban agriculture
The national strategy has been prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Ministry of Climate and the Environment, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway, businesses, state administrators, municipalities, research communities, and a number of organisations have also contributed with valuable inputs in the preparation of the strategy.
The national strategy fits within a wider trend of emerging local and regional initiatives in urban agriculture across the country. The need for contact with the soil, the joy of growing one’s own food, and the emergence of new social meeting places are some of the driving forces behind these initiatives.