Why the EU supports research and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas

Agriculture and forestry provide food, feed and non-food products to meet the demands of a wide range of industries and consumers, under a variety of geographical and socio-economic conditions. They also provide social and environmental benefits and play an important role in the developing rural areas, improving quality of life, and creating jobs.

World population growth, hunger, obesity and evolving consumer demands put pressure on agricultural production to improve food and nutrition security globally. Simultaneously, farming and food systems must be resilient against the challenges of finite resources, environmental degradation, climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

Transitions require locally adapted solutions that both improve the economic viability and social conditions of farming, enable generational renewal and contribute to the development, resilience and attractiveness of rural areas.

Research and innovation is critically important to develop and upscale knowledge, practices, technological and social innovations, policies and governance that will enable transitions towards sustainable farming systems and rural communities.

EU agricultural research and innovation is guided by a long-term strategic approach that focuses on creating value from land through sustainable primary production and on enhancing rural innovation.

Funding opportunities

Collaboration and jobs

Projects and results

Scientific publications, tools and databases

  • Scientific publications

    Scientific publications produced by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC)

  • Agriculture research tools and databases

    Software and modelling tools and databases related to agriculture, developed and compiled by the Commission's Joint Research Centre.

  • EU Open Data Portal

    Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions. All data is free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

  • OpenAIRE

    All scientific publications from Horizon 2020 are accessible via OpenAIRE.

  • Copernicus

    Access to agriculture data from the Copernicus programme.


Related events


  • Research enquiry service

    You can contact the research enquiry service to find out more about research in Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.  

  • National contact points

    The national contact points (NCP) network gives guidance and information on participating in Horizon 2020. NCPs are established in all EU countries and many non-EU countries.

Related Commission departments