The structure of agriculture is changing and new requirements are being set for the production. This means that farms must invest in new, modern production buildings or renovate the old ones to meet today’s requirements. Besides this, new, modern production methods and technologies are needed. Agricultural production must also be able to respond to changes in consumer behaviour even better than before. Investments in the production of farms are eligible for investment aid, which can be in the form of a grant, interest-rate subsidies for loans, a government guarantee, or a combination of these.
The conditions for investment aid include requirements for the beneficiary’s occupational skills and type of activities to be supported, as well as economic profitability. If the conditions are fulfilled, aid may be granted e.g. for investments in production buildings or enhancing the sustainability of production, such as by improving soil water economy. Aid may also be granted for investments that promote energy efficiency of farms and production of renewable energy or that improve the state of the environment, animal welfare and working environment. Read more about the conditions, purposes and levels of financial support on the website of the Finnish Food Authority (in Finnish)
The planning of investments should be started well in advance and enough time should be reserved for it. In the case of larger investments, in particular, it is advisable to involve external experts in the planning at an early stage, such as investment financiers and planners. External experts can help farmers in assessing the feasibility of different investment options and their impacts on the profitability and liquidity of farms. All these matters should be considered at the very start of the project.
Other measures of the Rural Development Programme, such as the Neuvo online service, can also be utilised in the planning of investments. Read more about Neuvo service on the website of the Finnish Food Authority (in Finnish).
The criteria to be used in selecting the eligible investments include the impacts of the investment on the profitability and competitiveness of the farm, issues related to animal welfare, the environment and production hygiene, and occupational safety and wellbeing at work.