RURALIZATION project participated in Konekilleri farm machinery exhibition which was organized in Jyväskylä, Finland, in October 2020.
Research Director Tuomas Kuhmonen, Finland Futures Research Centre, gave a lecture to the exhibition visitors. The title of his presentation was ‘Trends in European agriculture’ and he discussed alternative rural and farming futures affected by climate change, transition from fossil economy to bioeconomy and circular economy, reformed policies and bifurcation of the food system. Renewal of many systems – including the food system – appears to be cyclical and several indicators would suggest that the next stage of the Finnish food system would be reorganization.
He also presented facts about RURALIZATION project and some insights of the promising trends which have been identified in the project. Some of the trends are related to the dominant energy, food and settlement regimes (e.g. fossil economy, urbanization, globalization, oligopolistic markets, increased farm size) whereas some other trends are related to their alternatives (e.g. agroecology, educational farms, food tourism, local paradigm, micro- and small units, resilience, degrowth, rural energy communities). While persistence of the price- and cost-driven food system is expected, it also will face transformations facilitated by new technologies and pursue of energy and nutrients self-sufficient farms. Manifestations of alternative food systems provide avenues for achieving better social and environmental sustainability. The objective of the presentation was to activate futures-oriented thinking in general and to inform these particular stakeholders about the project and the expected results.
This professional exhibition for farmers, farm machinery manufacturers and other experts could be organized safely following Covid-19 restrictions. There were about 1,000 visitors in the exhibition, which is about 10% of the normal number of visitors. For safety reasons, the lecture was given online and presented to the audience on a screen in one of the exhibition halls.