Valborg Kvakkestad

Research Scientist

(+47) 476 58 645


Visiting address
Storgata 2-4-6, 0155 Oslo


In this paper, we examine citizen and consumer attitudes towards, and preferences for, private and public goods from organic agriculture in Norway. The study is based on a survey among 939 Norwegians. The results show that in the role as citizens, the respondents hold a moderate belief in the superiority of organic farming concerning the production of public goods, but they give relatively low priority to prompting organic farming compared to other agricultural policy goals. In the role as consumers (choice experiment), the respondents were willing to pay for several attributes of organic food. Only 6% of the respondents buy organic food as often as they can. The most important reasons for buying organic food are health and environmental concerns, while animal welfare has little importance. Lack of perceived superiority regarding health benefits, taste, safety and environment are important reasons for not consuming (more) organic food among those who rarely or never buy organic food.

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In this paper, we apply grounded innovation platforms (GRIPs) as a tool for inclusive innovation in relation to forest-based bioenergy in Norway. We use cases studied in the Triple Bottom Line Outcomes for Bioenergy Development and Innovation in Rural Norway research project. We review the notion of GRIPs and classify them. We analyse forms of GRIPs and the hypothesis that forms of GRIP affect ‘triple bottom line’ outcomes of sustainable development. We relate our findings to the debates on inclusive innovation, which we argue is not simply an issue for ‘developing countries’. Development, being understood to be different from economic growth, is concerned with inclusion and exclusion, and, in a world of growing inequalities, is a universal issue everywhere.


In Europe there is an on-going process on implementing regulations aimed at reducing pollution from agricultural production systems, i.e. the Water Framework Directive and the Framework Directive for Sustainable Use of Pesticides. At the same time, there is an increasing focus on food security possibly leading to continued intensification of agricultural production with increased use of external inputs, such as pesticides and fertilizers. Application of sustainable production systems can only be achieved if they balance conflicting environmental and economic effects. In Norway, cereal production is of large importance for food security and reduction of soil and phosphorus losses, as well as pesticide use and leaching/runoff in the cereal production are of special concern. Therefore, we need to determine the most sustainable and effective strategies to reduce loss of top soil, phosphorus and pesticides while maintaining cereal yields. A three-year research project, STRAPP, is addressing these concerns. A catchment area dominated by cereal production is our common research arena within STRAPP. Since 1992 a database (JOVA) with data for soil erosion, nutrient and pesticide leaching/runoff (i.e. concentrations in stream water), yield, and agricultural management practices (fertilization, use of pesticides, soil tillage and rotations) has been established for this catchment allowing us to compare a unique diversity in cropping strategies in a defined location. An important part of STRAPP focuses on developing ‘best plant protection strategies’ for cereal fields in the study area, based on field inventories (manual and sensor based) of weeds and common diseases, available forecast systems, and pesticide leaching risk maps. The results of field studies during the growing seasons of 2013 and 2014 will be presented, with a focus on possible integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for weeds and fungal diseases in cereal production. We will also present the project concept and methods for coupling optimized plant protection strategies to (i) modelling of phosphorus and pesticide leaching/runoff, as well as soil loss, and (ii) farm-economic impacts and adaptations. Further, methods for balancing the conflicting environmental and economic effects of the above practices, and the evaluation of instruments for increased adoption of desirable management practices will be outlined.


This ESEE 2011 conference paper examines attitudes to private and public goods and bads from agriculture in Norway with a particular focus on organic agriculture. The issue is based on a survey among 939 Norwegians. The results show that the respondents strongly value public attributes of agriculture like a vivid countryside and cultural landscapes. Almost 60 percent of the sample emphasise that the government should aim to increase the production and sale of organic food. Respondents’ behaviour as consumers were investigated by collecting and analysing data that indicate which conditions respondents find most important when they buy milk, eggs, carrots and ketchup. Important conditions were taste, fresh, produced in Norway and no use of pesticides or fertilizers. The most important reasons for buying organic food were avoidance of pesticides, health and environmental concerns.


This paper analyzes the capabilities of three different governance regimes for adequately handling uncertain and unknown effects of genetically modified (GM) crops. Adequate handling requires the development of sound procedures for identification of uncertainty and ignorance (U&I), reduction of U&I, decisions on how to treat irreducible U&I and monitoring of unexpected effects. The nature of U&I implies, however, that these procedures will be highly incomplete. Governance mechanisms that facilitate cooperative adaptation and communicative rationality are therefore needed. The three governance regimes (GRs) compared are: GM-crops are produced by private firms and these firms are made liable for harm (GR1); GM-crops are produced by private firms and the government decides whether the crops should be marketed (GR2); and GM-crops are produced and the government decides whether the crops should be marketed (GR3). The effect of bringing the civil society into the decision-making process is also analyzed. GR3 will be stronger in cooperative adaptation and communicative rationality than GR2. Public research organizations have fewer conflicts of interest with the government than private firms, and academic norms are important. Difficulties in proving harm and identifying the responsible firm will make GR1 weak in cooperative adaptation and communicative rationality.


Division of Biotechnology and Plant Health


Innovative approaches and technologies for Integrated Pest Management to increase sustainable food production.
Norway has implemented EU´s Directive on sustainable use of pesticides (2009/128/EC) which promotes the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and alternative approaches or techniques (IPM tools) to minimize pesticide use. There is a lack, however, of proven and practical IPM tools for farmers to use, as well as a relevant policy for a successful implementation of IPM. In SMARTCROP we aim to meet these challenges. The project is divided into 5 Work Packages (WPs) as presented below.

Active Updated: 14.08.2017
End: dec 2018
Start: jan 2015