Article | Last updated: 2014-12-03 | Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Sometimes it is necessary to reallocate agricultural land in order to meet other national requirements.
Historically, it was always necessary to balance soil conservation against the need for housing, industrial and commercial development, new railway routes and roads.
It is a challenge that the best topsoil is found in near-urban areas, where the population increase is most rapid. This has sometimes led to allocation conflicts.
Since World War II, at least 1.2 million acres (1 acre = 1000 square meters) cultivated and cultivable land has been reallocated to other purposes - on average, nearly 19,000 acres annually.
In recent years the trend has been reversed. In 2004 the objective of national soil protection policies was to reduce the annual reallocation of agricultural land by 50 percent by 2010. The target specified was that annual reallocation should be reduced to less than 6,000 acres (6,000,000 square feet) of cultivated land.
In 2011, the government then in power chose to continue this policy, and the goal was attained for the first time in 2013.
Faced with the estimated population growth in Norway, the competition for land is bound to increase.
Oslo, for example, is one of Europe's fastest growing cities. According to forecasts, the capital will reach 800,000 inhabitants in 2027, and one million in 2040.