Finland is one of the world’s northernmost agricultural countries. In 2013, there were approximately 58,000 farms which applied for support. The farmer support system is based on the support forms of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The most important of these support forms are support wholly funded by the EU (direct support, e.g. farm support), and aid to farmers in Less Favoured Areas (LFA) and environmental support of agriculture partly funded by the EU.

These are supplemented by national aid, the most important of which is the national aid for southern Finland (Article 141) and northern aid (Article 142) which are paid on the basis of the Treaty of Accession 1994 for milk, animal husbandry and greenhouse production. More information on support forms can be found page Support forms in Finland.

The support systems applied in rural development include EU support, support schemes partially funded by the EU, and national support. The Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland, organised under four axes, is funded in part by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Examples of programme content:

  • start-up and investments of young farmers
  • less favoured area payments, agri-environmental payments, better protection for animals and non-remunerative investments
  • diversification and development of agricultural activities, development of rural tourism and development of basic services and villages in rural areas
  • operations of Leader action groups in compliance with local development plans within axes 1–3 and regional cooperation.

Market support payments are only one part of the EU's rural policy. They focus on stabilising the price level of agricultural food products, securing a reasonable price level for producers. The market support system consists of many different types of payment programmes and serves a wide clientele. Clients include farmers, business enterprises, industry and trade, municipalities, schools, daycare centres and organisations.