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Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in Estonia

image of Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in Estonia

Estonian agriculture has undergone significant growth and structural change since the 1990s in a policy and regulatory environment that has been mostly supportive of investment. The implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy has contributed to the modernisation of the country's agriculture, leading to high productivity growth with relatively limited environmental pressure. High educational levels and strong public research institutions have also provided a fertile environment for innovation in Estonia, although Estonian agri-food companies struggle to participate in food and agricultural research activities. Attracting and retaining people in the agriculture sector at a time of growing labour and skills shortages in rural areas is an increasing challenge. Further innovation and adaptation will be needed to sustain and expand agriculture and food in Estonia.

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The Estonian agricultural innovation system

This chapter describes the Estonian Agricultural Innovation System and outlines recent changes. It provides an overview of the general innovation system; describes agricultural innovation actors and their roles in the system. It then describes main trends in public and private investments in R&D, mechanisms of funding and mechanisms to foster knowledge markets and networks. It presents mechanisms to facilitate the transmission of knowledge, outlining developments in farm advisory services. The last section outlines the participation of agricultural R&D actors in regional and international co-operation.

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