Farmland under urbanization pressure: conversion motivation among Norwegian landowners
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. 2020, 18 (2), 113-130. 10.1080/14735903.2020.1719774
Irreversible conversion of farmland to built-up land occurs globally. Despite farmlands’ importance for food supply agricultural businesses, little research investigates what motivates landowners to convert their land. This paper aims to fill this gap. Based on a survey among owners of farmland in Norway, we found significant correlations between social structures and landowners’ motivation for converting farmland, namely family understanding and willingness of other local landowners to convert their land. Values and interests were also significant; landowners emphasizing private interests and private property rights were most often motivated for conversion. Further, they often struggled to realize agricultural investments, and had limited agricultural income. Landowners located in highly productive agricultural areas, but facing urban growth, were significantly more motivated to convert farmland than others. They were also more often in contact with developers. This paper adds new empirical knowledge and develops theories to understand underlying farmland conversion causes among landowners, and provide insights for future policies.