Greppa Näringen– Advice for preventing fertilizer runoff in Gotland, Sweden

An advisory programme on reducing nutrient pollution, implemented at county level, helps minimise the impact of agriculture on the environment.

Project summary: 

Gotland is Sweden's biggest island and is an important agricultural area. It is situated in the middle of the Baltic sea: a sea that is heavily polluted with nutrient runoff from agriculture and where the problem of eutrophication is particularly severe. Financed by EAFRD. This project (“Greppa Näringen” or “Catch the nutrient”), was run all over the country, governed by the county boards. It sought to decrease nutrient runoff on a national scale and to raise awareness amongst farmers about how they can cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The project provided a free advisory service to farmers. This included training courses, one-to-one and group advisory sessions, field excursions, newsletters, exhibitions, information meetings and cooperation with projects in other counties.

Project results: 

10 courses were held and, as farmers were more interested and keen to participate than expected, the advisors did more group activities than originally planned.

Emissions of nitrogen and phosphorous into the Baltic Sea from Swedish farms have been reduced. A national evaluation has shown a strong connection between this project and the decreased levels of nutrients in the water.

The project in Gotland was considered a particular success and will be continued in the new period of the Rural Development program, along with many other similar projects all over the country.