Support for rural projects
Rural development projects are implemented as part of the CAP Strategic Plan 2023–2027. The development projects funded aim to improve the rural environment from the perspective of both residents and entrepreneurs.
The aim of rural development projects is to provide new solutions, renew rural livelihoods, increase competence and collaboration, and develop the countryside as a residential environment. The projects may be implemented locally, regionally, inter-regionally or nationally or, in part, internationally.
Rural environment and vitality of rural areas
The vitality of rural areas is improved through different kinds of projects that strengthen collaboration and a sense of community and improve the infrastructure. In the countryside, services and accessibility to these require a great deal of work, collaboration and innovations. Improved broadband connections provide rural entrepreneurs and residents with more equal opportunities and operating environments. Projects concerning leisure time, sports and culture activate the rural residents, with a key focus on young people.
Projects can also help find solutions related to services for older people and their quality of life and to the integration of immigrants. Development projects can promote the utilisation of digitalisation when introducing services and new solutions. They also improve the comprehensive security of the rural areas. Developing water services has an important role from the security perspective as well.
Competence, renewal and innovation
Education, training and business development measures are implemented to enhance the competence of rural entrepreneurs and increase cooperation among them. The aim is to increase cross-sectoral collaboration among operators, brake boundaries, create something new, and strengthen rural services and the competitiveness of businesses. In projects concerned with renewing rural industries there are no restrictions on the sectors involved, but all projects must include at least two active partners.
The aim of the project can be to develop the operations, products, technologies or processes of the company and to enhance the expertise related to these. The development of smart agriculture and innovation groups boost the renewal of the sector. The aim is also to promote local foods and collaboration between producers. A particular focus is on supporting the development of new bioeconomy companies. Cooperation is a major theme during the current period. It has been a popular theme even before that, which is also reflected in the results of the projects involving groups of companies. The new tools that have now been introduced include projects for groups of farmers and support for producer organisations.
Investments are used to improve the state of the environment and boost climate action. More information related to environmental expertise and energy efficiency will be provided to the rural entrepreneurs and residents. Climate change mitigation and adaptation require knowledge and skills as well. At the same time, collaboration and networks related to these will be built and new solutions and innovations developed. The development projects enable to react quickly to new situations and to find solutions to the needs of the rural areas.