with :

Claudette Formantin – coordinator Essor Maraicher incubator, Toulouse, France.  

Nils Maurice and Jean Baptiste Cavalier, Reneta – national network connecting regional incubator organisations, France.

Gil Mercador, RETA – national network of farm incubators, Spain.

Peter Volz, Agronauten – research association for sustainable food systems and regional economics, Germany

Joan Muntané – Rufea Farm Incubator, City hall of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain

Program :

  • 13.00 Tervetuloa
  • 13.10-14.30 Esitykset maatilahautomotoiminnasta Ranskassa, Espanjassa ja Saksassa (in English). Aikaa kysymyksille ja vastauksille.
  • 14.30-15.00 Paneelikeskustelu. Puheenjohtajana prof. Juha Helenius.
  • 15.00-15.15 Kahvitauko
  • 15.15-16.00 Ryhmäkeskustelut & yhteinen lopetus.


Agroekologiset maatilahautomot Suomeen

Agroekologiset “maatilahautomot” ovat yleistyneet Euroopassa. Hautomot tarjoavat ekologisesta maaseutuyritystoiminnasta kiinnostuneille ihmisille väylän yritystoiminnassa vaadittavien taitojen kehittämiseen käytännön työskentelyn avulla. Tämä on osoittautunut erittäin tehokkaaksi menetelmäksi toteuttaa monen maatalouden ulkopuolelta tulevan haave maaseutuyrittäjyydestä.

Maatilahautomon avulla luodaan yrittäjyydestä kiinnostuneille realistiset ja turvalliset olosuhteet harjoitella käytännön toimintaa yhdessä muiden kiinnostuneiden kanssa. Toimintaa voi olla yksityisillä tai yhteisöllisillä maa- ja puutarhatiloilla. 

Suomesta Osk. Oma maa on ollut mukana 2022 alkaneessa Erasmus+ rahoittamassa Farm incubator hankkeessa. Syksyllä 2023 toiminnasta kiinnostuneita suomalaisia yhteistyötahoja osallistuivat opintoretkeen Ranskan Toulousessa.

Nyt haluamme esitellä laajemmin hautomotoiminnan mahdollisuuksia Suomessa.

Tule mukaan suunnittelemaan yhdessä toiminnan kehittämistä Suomessa!

Lisätiedot: Ruby van der Wekken, toimisto@omamaa.fi, puh 0504362171.

Group foto participants European meeting around farm incubators October 2023, Toulouse, France.

Participants European meeting around farm incubators October 2023, Toulouse, France.


Agroecology farm incubators for Finland 

As stands also for Finland, EU-level data shows a critical need for newcomers in agriculture.  The same data also shows that only 1 in 5 young farmers opt for some level of formal training. A large portion of people interested in entering the farming profession are not from a farming background, and often formal education does not provide them with relevant practical experience. The managing of one’s own farm is rarely covered through formal education.

This is what Farm Incubators as established in countries as France, Spain and Belgium, want to cater to. They want to close the gap between formal education and the starting of one’s own business. By providing a safe environment to start, test and adapt the business-model, farm incubators have the potential to play an important role to increase the number of farms and farm-successions, also in Finland. 

Oma maa has been partnering since spring 2022 in an Erasmus+ project around Farm incubators in Europe, and the project came to a first European wide meeting in October 2023 in Toulouse, France. There besides hearing about experiences in different countries, local farm incubator experiences were visited. 

In March, several project partners, from France, Germany and Spain, a farm incubator coordinator from Toulouse, France and a city council representative facilitating the development of a farm incubator in Lleida, Catalonia, Spain will be visiting Finland, where on Wednesday 6.3 the public seminar “Agroecology Farm incubators for Finland”  will take place at Lapinlahden Lähde auditorium, from 13-16pm . 

Anne Camille, incubee Essor Maraicher incubator, Toulouse, France, telling of her experiences at the incubator as new vinegrower


The idea of a farm incubator is to create safe conditions for new entrants into farming to have longer term experience in the developing of a farm business, after (at least) basic agricultural education but before embarking on their actual own farming.

Farm incubators create a real situation as well as autonomy during a limited time for the new aspiring entrant, whilst providing facilities, legal framework, monitoring as well as coordination between relevant actors for the farm incubation period. A farm incubator is as such not a place, but is better understood as a coordinated group of actors which together create the conditions of a farm incubator, which can take physically place in different settings. In Finland we want to promote the establishing of farm incubators on farms. 

The farm incubator gives aspiring new farmers a chance to safely assess whether they really want to pursue farming, whilst on the other hand for instance a farm offering their farm and expertise as farm incubator locus can have the chance to work longer together and to get to know a potentially new producer member. 

Essor Maraicher incubator, Toulouse, France


Finland has good agricultural schooling possibilities as well as instruments as apprenticeships and entrepreneurial starting money. However, to start as a farmer/agricultural entrepreneur brings many financial, access to land, infrastructure and lack of knowledge challenges, which need accompanying over several years and which are currently not all met in sufficient and enabling ways.  

At the same time, small scale agricultural initiatives wanting to keep social and ecological values up high are challenged to offer sufficiently remunerated places to newcomers which could play an important role in this. Farm incubators can meet these demands and challenges of both aspiring farmers and sustainable small scale agricultural initiatives. 

With the farm incubators we in particular want to support the development of a sustainable foodsystem in Finland upholding agroecological values. This means putting a caring for the land upfront, in terms of its capacity to be strengthening biodiversity, carbon sequestration as well as more efficient nutrient recycling. This means also seeing to the needs of our farmers, and putting also human and social values upfront. At large, farm incubators are elements in the development of a sustainable local economy, to develop more local markets and direct sales. Farm incubators can also be seen as enabling tools giving people the possibility to have more ownership over their food system and through this cater to sustainable development and green just transitioning.  

Potato harvesting on Kaukon tila, one of the two farms of food cooperative Oma maa, Tuusula, Finland.


In Europe, the most developed and tested incubator structure is the french/belgium model of Espaces Test Agricole (ETA) and the regional incubator organizations are connected through a national network RENETA. The reality in France shows that the majority of people interested in starting up a farm (or gardening) business do not come from a farming background. Most of the time new entrants are career changers. ETA enables these people to learn to manage their business by doing it, and therefore complementing the formal education with practical experiences. Incubator Farms therefore diversify the group of people entering farming or gardening by lowering the threshold to enter and supporting the first years of managing ones own business. The innovative way of learning management-skills and adapting business ideas to the regional reality not only provides a hands-on learning opportunity but is also bringing new entrepreneurs to rural areas. The establishment of farm incubators can involve different actors including local authorities and NGO’s. 

Claudette Formantin, coordinator of Essor Maraicher incubator, Toulouse, France, explaining its workings


Oma maa has been partnering since spring 2022 in an Erasmus+ project around Farm incubators in Europe. Other initiating project partners have been Agronauten (www.agronauten.net; Germany);  Reneta (www.reneta.fr, France); GAL Pays des Condruses (www.galcondruses.be, Belgium) and Associació d’iniciatatives Rurals de Catanlunya (www.desenvolupamentrural.cat/, Spain). 

The project and its partnership is wanting to support emerging farm incubators (like) initiatives to conceptualise and implement a structure in their countries/regions that provides a safe environment for newcomers and career-changers starting their own farm business, as well as strengthen international cooperation around the subject.

During the Erasmus+ project time, the participating organizations have been learning about the French and Belgium concept of farm incubators. The first field trip of the project was to Brussles, Belgium where existing farm incubator sites were visited. The second field trip was to Berlin, Germany, where a seminar was held on the topic of farm incubators in Germany (so far non existent) at the Heinrich Bohl foundation with a large number of potential stakeholders and facilitators. 

The last and largest field trip of the project was to Toulouse, France in October of 2023, to which relevant actors from all the participating countries were invited. From Finland, the 8 person delegation included farmers (Lassilan and Niipalan tila) as well as representatives from Leader projects, MTK keskusliitto and from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest Ministry.  Also from Luomuliito and Helsinki University intrest in the process and fieldtrip was expressed, but participation in the fieldtrip was not possible due to practical reasons. Besides ample internal exchanges and learning moments, in Gaillac, a number of farm incubators and their incubéés were visited, involving also local authorities. It is a pleasure that March will bring a number of these representatives to Finland, to support our discussions around the potential and possibility for implementation of farmincubators in Finland. 

Link to RENETA presentation on farm incubators.


Essor Maraicher incubator, Toulouse, France