North Karelia is located in Eastern Finland and it limits to the east with Russia. The total area of the region is 21,584 km2. The population of North Karelia is about 161,000 people of which 75,000 inhabitants live in the regional capital, the city of Joensuu. Population density of North Karelia is about 7.5 inhabitants / km2. Regional GDP per capita was 33,582 € and the Gross value added by the agricultural sector is around 40 million euros in 2018.
About 89% of the land area is covered by forests and there are over 2,000 lakes in the region. Leading industry sectors are forest and wood, food, plastic, metal, and tourism industries. North Karelia is widely known for its knowhow in forestry.
Agricultural land covers 900 km² of which 860 km² (86,000 hectares) is used actively. The total farm income comes from four main sources: sales of products and services (34%), various subsidies (28%), forests (16%) and other farm income such as cottage rent, accommodation, catering, and other services (22%). Typically, most of the active farmers are also forest owners and an average size of forest is 56 hectares / farm. There is great variance in the income structure between the farms, especially in the category of other farm income.
Dairy farming is the most significant agricultural production line with 59 % of the total production in euros. Livestock farming for meat including beef and pork covers in total 23 %, egg farming 0.56 % and cereal farming about 4 %. Other crop farming such as potatoes, vegetables, berries, caraway, field mustard etc. cover 13 % of total production in euros. North Karelia is the fifth largest milk and beef producer in Finland.
Renewable energy consumption rate in the region was 67 % in 2018. This consists wood energy (51 %), renewable electricity (13 %), heat pumps and other sources of renewable energy (3%). There is a significant potential remaining to increase biomass, biogas and other renewable sources in energy production and consumption. North Karelia has set a target to be oil-free region by the year 2030 and active measures has been implemented recent years and public commitment towards the target is at high level.
In the Regional Self-Assessment Report, you can find more information on renewable energy in agriculture in North Karelia.