Rural development is carried out between several ministries. The main fields of the Ministry of Agriculture are alternative small entrepreneurship in rural areas (rural tourism etc), private forestry, land improvement, agricultural environment and local initiative. The main role of the Ministry of Agriculture in developing rural life is mostly connected to planning and implementing EU rural life support programmes in Estonia.
Since the beginning of the century, Estonian rural life development policy has been largely affected by the accession to the European Union. Prior to the accession, Estonia had the possibility to be a part of the special accession programme for agriculture and rural development SAPARD (applications were received from 2001 – 2003), the resources of which were very successfully used. For the implementation of post accession support, the Estonian National Development Plan (NDP) 2004 – 2006 and the Estonian Rural Development Plan (RDP) 2004 – 2006 were prepared and approved.
For the years 2007 – 2013, a new big programme has been prepared, according to which, all rural development support is included in the Rural Development Plan (RDP 2007 – 2013).
According to RDP 2007–2013, rural development support is divided into four fields:
- competitiveness of agriculture, private forestry and food industry;
- maintenance of agricultural environment and landscape;
- off-farm entrepreneurship in rural areas and village life;
- local initiative (LEADER).
last update: 02.11.2011