Moonlight farmers and Lump suckers; The ICRPS Summer School in Norway

This Summer School about policies for rural development took place from June 25th to July 9th 2011 on 2 locations in Norway, in Oslo and in Sogndal. The course involved a variety of lectures, discussions and group word on issues such as natural resources, community development, rural services, renewable energy, food & agriculture, policy and climate change. The diverse group of students (some of them already working in rural development), faculty members and two OECD researchers included mainly people from Europe and the US (especially Canada) and discussed not only rural development in Norway, but compared this with interesting cases in their own countries. I only attended the second week in Sogndal, a town located between Bergen, Oslo and Trondheim, at one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway. Sogndal is located near the largest glacier in Europe.
Moonlight farmers refers to the agricultural situation in Norway: only 3% of the land is used as arable land, the average size of a farm is small and many landowners have a job which they attend in the daytime, while doing farm work during ‘moonlight’ (in fact in summer the daylight lasts very long in Norway).
Lump suckers refers to innovation in aquaculture in the Norwegian fisheries. Norway is a large exporter of fish, especially salmon. In aquaculture farms salmon is produced under controlled conditions. One of the biggest problems is lice-infection on salmon. An ex-professor which runs a research station and aquaculture farm in Sogndal is developing some important innovations: he grows a special type of fish, called lump suckers, which suck the lice of the salmon. He also experiments with improving the immune system of salmon.

More information can be found on the ICRPS website: The papers and presentations are on the X-drive of the Rural Sociology Group. For a report with some impressions of the lectures or other information you can  mail to . There is also a special Linked in group: International Comparative Rural Policy Studies Consortium.