A policy review has been conducted to reveal and estimate the potential policy induced obstacles to carry out changes in production intensity at the farm level. Simultaneously, also the potential policy related promoting factors has been evaluated. The review shows that the current system of financial support under CAP has many synergies with sustainable intensification and extensification, both of which are the corner stones of OPAL-Life toolkit. Possible obstacles for sustainable intensification also exist, and the most notable of them are connected with fertilization restrictions. Appendix 1 contains a thorough summary of the CAP support instruments and other policies considered in this policy report. The summary is in Finnish.
Survey on potential demonstration areas
In Finland, the different agricultural production lines are concentrated to specific areas, aiming the geographical and diverse production line coverage at the same time. Also the pedo-climatic conditions vary a lot across Finland. Evaluation of which parts of Finland would be valuable and necessary for the project has been carried out. As a result of evaluation, four regions were selected: Southern coastal region (crop production), South-western inland region (mainly crop production), Eastern inland region (animal and crop production), and Northern region (animal and crop production).
The demonstration farm network
One of the main targets of the OPAL-Life -project is to focus on the social acceptability and economical sustainability of the proposed GHG mitigation actions aimed through land use change. For this purpose, it is crucial to incorporate farmers to the project from the very beginning. Based on the survey results in Action C1.1b, a network of around 20 farms (i.e., four to six per each region) has been established.
Establishment of the demonstration (= pilot) farm network started in January 2016. Altogether names of some 50 potential pilot farmers were obtained. After evaluation of production line, acreage, crop rotation practises, soil type and other critical field characteristics available, 20 most suitable farms were selected. The 20 farms are from four regions: Ruukki, Maaninka, the southern coastal area and Southwest Finland–Häme–Satakunta.
It is important to gather extensive information about the pilot farms and monitor the long-term changes in order to accomplish the objectives of the project. The attitudes and opinions of the farmers will be studied yearly with in-depth interviews.
The project employs a network approach, which means the project is developed together with concerned stakeholders. All our beneficiaries are represented in the project group and we are working in close cooperation with our demonstration farmers and experts around Finland.