A vibrant countryside is Finland’s strength. The sustainable use of renewable resources opens up enormous possibilities. Achieving economic growth requires new ways of acting and thinking. Rural areas have potential for developing the bioeconomy and nature tourism alike. Rural areas offer solutions for renewal and well-being as well as environmental and climate issues.
The objective of rural development is to ensure that the countryside is a good environment for various business activities and a good place for people of all ages to live. Because rural areas depend on their natural resources, good environmental management is an important objective in rural development. Clean nature, pleasant environment and well-functioning services attract new residents and visitors to the countryside.
Rural development activities aim to identify the opportunities of different areas and to promote them. Each area has unique strengths and challenges. One of the goals is to share the good practices used to enhance strengths and address challenges to avoid the need to constantly reinvent the wheel. Thus, rural development operators have efficient networks.
Major trends in rural development include the environment, climate, competitiveness and related innovations. Rural livelihoods are becoming increasingly diverse. Many are willing to set up their lives and businesses in the countryside, because increasingly few jobs are bound to a specific place. Therefore, well-functioning telecommunications connections are one of the preconditions for rural development. Food production still requires space, which the countryside can offer. Even today, agriculture is a central source of livelihood in rural areas and continues to shape rural landscapes. Environmental issues have become increasingly important, alongside the welfare of production animals. Finnish consumers want to eat food that is produced locally and in a sustainable manner. All these needs can be met by developing rural areas and livelihoods.
Useful external website:
Taina Vesanto, Senior Ministerial Adviser
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Food Department, Unit for Rural Development Agriculture and Fisheries Council Telephone:0295162405