Agriculture in Lithuania dates to the Neolithic period, about 3,000 to 1,000 BC. Historically Lithuania has always been an agricultural country. Lithuania's accession to the European Union in 2004 ushered in a new agricultural era. The EU pursues a very high standard of food safety and purity.
These days the added value of agricultural production make up more than 4% GDP. 6% of all working people work in agriculture. 33% of people in Lithuania live in rural areas. The agricultural land covers 70 % of Lithuania. About 28,370 sq. km are used for agriculture. Main products: potatoes, barley, wheat, rye, legumes, rapeseed, flax, vegetables, meat. In 2009 there were produced agricultural production for 1.68 milliard EUR. The volume of agricultural production has risen by 0.4 %.
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Arrival in Vilnius. Transfer to your hotel with an orientation tour along the way. Overnight in Vilnius.
Day 2After breakfast transfer to the US Embassy in Vilnius. Arrive and proceed through the security checkpoint. There you will receive a US Embassy briefing that will provide exposure to the Baltic (and Central European) agriculture experience, results of post-Soviet economic transitions, the state of agricultural biotechnology, market access/SPS issues, questions for the Common Agricultural Policy, and also current issues with marketing and trade. Lunch with invited guests. Transfer by coach to the Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture.
Visit at the Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture to gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that face Lithuania with regard to agriculture and its status as a relatively new member of the European Union, particularly in the area of policy and trade issues.
Overnight in Vilnius.
After breakfast travel to Kaunas area for a visit to Lytagra, an importer for Case New Holland. See their facilities and learn how CNH markets its equipment in the Baltics. Continue with an opportunity to meet and discuss current issues with representative s of th e Chamber of Agriculture in Kaunas. Afternoon options for visits will include various farms, processing facilities for bio-fuel production and/or fertilizer production. Overnight in Kaunas.
Start the day with a visits to several local farms representing Lithuanian agriculture.
By mid-afternoon depart for Riga. On arrival check in to your hotel followed by a short city tour of Riga including a walk through the historic central district. Overnight in Riga.
Start the day with a US Embassy briefing on various agricultural, economic and political issues specific to Latvia.
Travel outside of the city to Jelgava, about 50 km of Riga. Visit two local farms along the way and talk to the farm managers. One farm is significant in size and shows the direction of the agriculture business in Eastern Europe. You will also have an opportunity to see, as a contrast, a mid size farming operation. Continue with a visit to a rape seed oil crushing plant (or bio fuel processing plant).
Return to Riga and enjoy a dinner in the Old Town. Overnight in Riga.
After breakfast check out of hotel followed by a visit to a farm, local agri-business or a related industry such as an importer of soybean meal.Arrive at the American Chamber of Commerce for Latvia. Learn about the role of the Chamber and how it supports business development in this area. Depart for the Free Port of Riga. On arrival at the port, tour of the port facilities followed by a briefing on the port, and also discussions on the future of the shipping industry. By late afternoon continue northeast to Estonia and the city of Tartu,
with an agricultural narrative en route. Dinner on arrival after hotel check-in. Overnight in Tartu.
After breakfast transfer to the University of Life Sciences, Tartu’s agricultural college. Here you will receive a short panoramic tour of the campus. The tour will also include brief stops at the university’s animal clinic and cattle ranch. Following the campus tour you will receive a briefing on current trends in Estonian Agriculture. The staff will present their insight regarding the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing “Agricultural” Education in Estonia. Later City tour of Tartu with local historical guide. Begin with a walking history tour that includes the most important sights of Tartu’s City Centre. Overnight in Tartu.
Depart to Tallinn. arrive at the US Embassy and proceed through the security checkpoint.
Economic and political issues will be covered by the appropriate Embassy staff. Later meet with representatives of the Estonia Ministry of Agriculture for their perspective on key Issues, challenges & opportunities for Agriculture in Estonia. In the evening enjoy a group "Farewell Dinner". Overnight in Tallinn.
Early morning tour of the Tallinn city, which features the Old Town with its Town Hall Square, numerous churches, the Toompea Castle. The most outstanding sights include a 14th-15th century Gothic Town Hall, St. Nicholas church, now housing a museum of medieval art; an old chemist's shop; numerous authentic Hanseatic merchants' houses, etc. After the tour private transfer to the airport. Departure home.