Finding the regional strengths to create business opportunities for Arctic agriculture based on special plants

Barentspec Finding the regiona






Knowledge about cultivated arctic special plants is so far rather limited. Special raw materials give profitable lines of production for Barents region agriculture. Processing and marketing may give new business possibilities also to SMEs of Barents region, few examples already exists. In order to utilize these possibilities, knowledge about arctic special plants must be improved, gathered and disseminated. The project focuses on special plant properties and the effect of regional growth conditions on these properties. Five model plants (Arnica montana, Bergenia crassifolia, Rhodiola rosea, Allium victorialis, Avena sativa), which are used in medical-, natural product- and food industries, will be cultivated in locations with different climate conditions. Several growth and phytochemical parameters will be observed, and these parameters are used to estimate agricultural and business potential of the mentioned species. The project also improves the already established and well-working co-operation between Barents region Finnish, Norwegian and Russian scientific institutes, researches and developers of northern / arctic agriculture. The exchange of knowledge will enhance the expertise of local research institutes and professionals which will reflect on the competiveness of arctic agriculture. Besides knowledge about economical potential of mentioned special plants, the results can be used when estimating and predict effects of climate change on plant production and properties. It can be assumed, that present Rovaniemi region local climate resembles future Kola Peninsula and Tromsø local climate. Present southern Finland local climate resembles probably future Rovaniemi local climate. The rapid global climate change which is proposed to occur during the 21st century will cause adaptation challenges to biota throughout the world. As the global climate change is assumed to affect first and most dramatically the arctic areas, research which focuses to consequences of climate change in these areas should be greatly emphasized.