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History

The development of the Estonian agricultural and rural development advisory system has undergone a long and complicated journey after the restoration of independence. A number of organizations have attempted to build an advisory system targeted to the agricultural producers and through projects have been attempted to create a variety of constructive collaborations and to write development plans.

The main events in the development of the advisory system have been as follows:
• 1991 – The creation of the first advisory system in an independent Estonia by the Estonian Farmers' Federation (EFF) under the project of the Higher School of Management (JKK) . The system joined the advisory centers of regional farm associations, learning centers from two farm unions (Harju and Viljandi) and Jäneda Training and Advisory Center.
• 1993 – Was launched the EFF and the Danish Agricultural Advisory Center ETKL joint project of rebuilding the advisory system based on farm unions. The structure of the advisory system was interfaced to the structure of the farm union.
• 1994 – Was launched creation of advisory unions in Viljandi, Tartu, Jõgeva and Järva Counties with the financial support of the advisory program of the the German and Estonian Ministries of Agriculture.
Estonian Advisors Association (EKÜ) was created.
• 1995 – National advisory program was launched. The foundation was laid for the contractual relationships between the counselor and the manufacturer.
• 1997 – under the leadership of EKÜ certification of advisors was started, with the aim to raise the quality of the advice through the checking of the qualifications of the consultants
• 2000 – Was adopted the "Rural Development and Agricultural Market Regulation Act", which defined the terms "advisory support", "advisory support recipient" and "requirements set for the adviser and attestation."
• 2002 – A public procurement was organized as a result of which in Counties will be created information dissemination centers either at the farmers or producers' associations. Information dissemination program was continued by the Rural Development Foundation (RDF).
• 2003 – Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce (ECAC) took over from RDF the part of the agricultural information dissemination system (PITS) that was related to the dissemination of information.
• 2005 – The Minister recognizes advisory centers for every county, they are used simultaneously also as information dissemination centers. The ECAC receives tasks to ensure the convergence of the level of information offered by the advisory centers, training and continuing education of the advisers and to organize the producers' needs analysis and reporting. Regular training and development activities are launched.
• 2006 – The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the ECAC started rearrangement of the agricultural advisory system in order to simplify administration and make receiving the advice more flexible.
• 2007 – The Agricultural and Rural Advisory Coordinating Center was established, which has the role of a mediator between the Ministry of Agriculture and the advisory centers and the advisers.
• 2010 – RDF will once again deal with coordination of the advisory services.
• 2011 – RDF and the recognized advisory centers and the manufacturers' or professional organizations signed an Agreement for Joint Activity, the voluntarily joined members of which wish to combine their efforts to ensure the availability of high-quality advice and are willing to act towards the common goal, namely the establishment of a nationwide single advisory organization by the year 2013.

The most productive era of the advisory system began in 2005, when the advisory systems were recognized and began to create system-enhancing activities such as internships of advisors and free advice. By 2011 the advisory system has the total of 214 professionally qualified advisers and 15 county advisory centers. Constantly renewing and updated the advisory system tries to do everything in order to be a good advisory partner, so that major changes are ahead for new development plans.