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Finland Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
More than seven percent of Finland's surface area is used for agriculture. Most of the farms are now medium sized and mechanized. In the eastern and northern parts of the country much milk is produced, while agriculture in the south and west is dominated by grain production and animal breeding for meat production.
Until a few years after the turn of the millennium, milk production was by far the most important industry in agriculture, but in the past decade more farmers have switched to growing cereals. However, in some parts of the country milk production still dominates.
In recent years, the number of farms in Finland has decreased, while the average farm has grown to about 36 hectares. In 1960, agriculture still employed 36 per cent of the labor force, today almost 1 percent work in the agricultural industry.
Hay is grown on most of the country's arable land, and grains, oats, wheat, potatoes and sugar beet are the most common crops. One third of the farms are engaged in meat production, especially beef and pork. In Lapland there is also extensive reindeer husbandry.
Since the beginning of the 1960s, Finland has been self-sufficient on basic foods such as potatoes, milk, meat and eggs. Previously, agricultural surplus could be sold abroad through export subsidies. But new rules were introduced in 1995 when Finland joined the EU. Due to the cold climate, many farmers, especially in the sparsely populated areas of the north, still receive financial support, both from the EU and from the Finnish state.
Forestry is an important industry that provides raw material for the country's important paper and wood products industry. For many farmers, forestry is a side job. Almost two-thirds of the forest is owned by individuals or families, while around one-third is state-owned. Only a fraction of the forest belongs to private forest companies.
Fishing is of little importance nowadays. Mainly, herring and pungent herring are caught and in addition large amounts of rainbow are raised in fish farms.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
2.5 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
7.5 percent (2016)
Newspaper reveals surveillance of Russian troops
The Helsingin Sanomat newspaper publishes an article based on classified information about how the military intelligence service's research center in Jyvaskyla has been given far-reaching powers to monitor Russian troops in an area not far from the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. Prime Minister Sipilä says that journalists have jeopardized the security of the country and one of the journalists gets their home searched. The disclosure provokes a fierce debate in the country about national security and how freely the media can operate. Finland is usually at the top in measurements of freedom of the press in the countries of the world.
Finland celebrates 100 years
With parades and street parties, Finns celebrate the 100th anniversary of the country's independence from Russia. Lots of buildings around Finland are draped or illuminated in blue and white. The government sends a text message to all residents with the text: Onnea Suomi (Happy Birthday Finland)!
Neo-Nazi party is banned
The Tampere District Court bans the neo-Nazi group of the Nordic Resistance Movement. The ban is justified by the fact that there is an "urgent social need" for this, as the group spreads hatred and calls for violence against various ethnic groups. The Finnish intelligence service has said that the Nordic Resistance Movement aims to create a national socialist state. The Nordic resistance movement is also found in Sweden and Norway. In Finland, the group is estimated to have around 70 to 90 active members and perhaps 200 followers to its ideology.
Suspected assailant acknowledges the knife act
The 22-year-old Moroccan, who is suspected of having performed a knife attack that claimed the lives of two people and injured eight people, admits during police questioning that he is guilty. However, he denies that it was a terrorist act. The Finnish police have previously said that the knife attack is considered a terrorist act.
Knife attacks in Turku are handled as acts of terrorism
Two Finnish women are killed and eight people injured when a man suddenly begins to attack passersby with a knife in Turku (Turku). According to police, the perpetrator targets the knife attacks on women. Among the injured are six women and two men. The latter must have tried to protect women from the assailant. Among the injured are a Swedish, a British and an Italian. The rest are from Finland. Police arrest the man after he shot him in the leg. The suspect is a 22-year-old asylum-seeking man from Morocco. Another five Moroccan men are arrested. The police are handling the act as a terrorist attack. The Moroccan is sentenced in June 2018 to life imprisonment for murder "with terrorist intent".
The government survives a crisis
The election of radical right-wing populist Jussi Halla-aho as new leader of the true Finns leads to the Center and the Collective Party interrupting government cooperation with the party, fearing that it will pursue a more radical EU-skeptical and anti-immigrant line. But when the party leader's election results in a more moderate grouping within the true Finns breaking out of the parent party, the Center and the Collective Party can reign together with the more moderate faction of the true Finns. The breakers call themselves the New alternative. Among them are 20 of the 37 Finnish MPs and all of the party's government members, including Foreign Minister Timo Soini, who will remain in office.
True Finns choose disputed leaders
True Finns elect Jussi Halla-aho as new party leader after Foreign Minister Timo Soini, who held the post for 20 years. Halla-aho was fined in 2012 by the Supreme Court for comparing Islam with pedophilia. His goal is to make the true Finns even more EU-skeptical and immigration-critical. The election of Halla-aho leads Prime Minister Sipilä to call the leaders of the two coalition parties to crisis meeting.
Three new ministers are appointed
Prime Minister Sipilär appoints three new ministers, likely to ensure the continued support of the true Finns. The policy areas for legal issues and the labor market are shared and each has a responsible minister. The same thing happens with agriculture and the environment. Minister of Agriculture becomes the true Finnish Jari Leppä. The former Finns' former leader Timo Soini remains as foreign minister, while one of the candidates to succeed him, Sampo Terho, is appointed minister responsible for EU affairs, sport and culture.
The leader of the true Finns resigns
Timo Soini leaves the post as leader of the true Finns after 20 years as the party's front figure. The message comes after the True Finns were dragged for a period of sharply declining confidence figures; since the 2015 election, the true Finns' opinion figures have dropped from 18 percent to 9 percent. However, Soini remains as Foreign Minister.
Basic income is introduced on probation
Finland begins a test of so-called basic income. The test will run for two years. Two thousand randomly selected unemployed citizens receive a basic income of 560 euros a month instead of the traditional welfare support. If the evaluation of the test period becomes positive, basic income will be introduced throughout the country. The government believes that the basic income system will make the unemployed more likely to apply for a job because the amount does not have to be repaid if the recipient receives an extra job during the current month.