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Wants to improve organisation in sustainable agriculture

Wants to improve organisation in sustainable agriculture - Available at University of Iceland

"Visions and goals have been set for sustainable development in land-use and food production in Iceland, it is, however, not clear which path is best to take to achieve these goals. The study I am currently working on analyses which methods have proven most effective around the world and puts forward suggestions on how best to adjust them to Icelandic circumstances." 

This says Salvör Jónsdóttir about her PhD thesis at the University of Iceland's Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences. The study tackles issues in natural and social sciences with the aim to improve production systems in agriculture. The study’s main focus is food security in Iceland; in part due to the current pandemic. 

Better integration in land-use and production

Salvör has been working on planning for decades but a few years ago she started working on food planning systems in the United States. She was fascinated by the field and wanted to get more involved.  Her doctoral thesis is thus the product of this interest. 

"I am studying whether methods in the organisation of food planning on the one hand, and methods in the organisation of land-use on the other, to strengthen sustainability in argricultural production in Iceland," says Salvör on her PhD research. 

"I analyse scientific articles on food systems and the structure of the land designated for agriculture with a view to sustainable development. I also study policy documents on agriculture from interested parties. Furthermore, I take interviews with key figures in the field and analyse them.

Salvör says that attitudes, tradition and political agenda govern land-use in Iceland, as in most other countries. "My doctoral thesis will include reasoning on whether and how the organisation of land-use and food systems in Iceland can be integrated founded on analysis of Icelandic circumstances and the experience of other nations." 

"I am studying whether methods in the organisation of food planning on the one hand, and methods in the organisation of land-use on the other, to strengthen sustainability in argricultural production in Iceland," says Salvör on her PhD research. 

Agriculture in harmony with environment and society

Salvör says that with her project she wants to strengthen food production in agriculture so that it can be in harmony with the environment and society. 
"The tools I know best belong to traditional planning studies, however, the food system and the methods used to analyse and organise it, give me a view that asks demanding questions I want to seek answers to."

Salvör says that without research there is no progress, but her interest lies mostly in applied research. "Such research is particularly important now when we are forced to rethink how we use the environment."

Salvör says that the results are still unpublished, however, there are indications that a part of the land-use is neglected when food production is organised. "The interviews I have taken with the interested parties suggest interest in improving the current system in this respect." 

Salvör's main supervisor in the doctoral thesis is Guðrún Gísladóttir, professor at the University of Iceland's Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences.  Other supervisors are Bryndís Marteinsdóttir, project manager at The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI), Alfonso Morales, professor and Lidsey Day-Farnsworth, project manager; both at the University in Wisconsin-Madison.