The first RAIN meeting in Finland

“The first Finnish Regional Agroforestry Innovation Network meeting took place on 14 September 2017 on a farm called Putkisalo Kartano near Rantasalmi in the Finnish lake district. Michael den Herder (the Innovation Broker) from the European Forest Institute and Henri Vanhanen from Natural Resources Institute Finland chaired the meeting.

Ten stakeholders (farmers, researchers, advisors) attended the workshop. The meeting started with a walk around the farm where the people could see how the farm works, witness sheep herding with a sheep dog in practice, and share experiences about farm management, agroforestry and management of wood pastures.

After the farm walk, the AFINET project was presented to the participants followed by a presentation of the current status of agroforestry in Finland and some practical examples of the most common agroforestry practices in the country.

During the workshop, the participants lively discussed about new innovative agroforestry ideas and selected the best ideas to explore further in the next interactive session. During this session, the participants discussed possible obstacles, solutions to overcome these obstacles and possible research needs for bringing these innovative ideas into practice. Agroforestry (in Finnish “agrometsätalous”) is the new word to describe an old land use practice in Finland that gradually disappeared with the intensification of agriculture and forestry. Now it’s a good time for its revival.

The Finnish RAIN members are enthusiast to start the work and will meet on a regular basis in the coming three years.”