About half of the Germany population live in rural areas. To them, the rural areas covering almost 90 percent of Germany do not only represent a natural resource and recreational value, they also stand for their home environment and place to work.
Developments such as demographic change, rural depopulation, the increasing disappearance of infrastructure and local supplies are current challenges for rural areas.
The objective of rural development is to preserve rural areas as being attractive to live in and vibrant, and to stimulate deprived areas. Rural areas are to be strengthened in order to remain economically, environmentally and socially viable living spaces.
On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) the BLE centre of excellence Rural Development is responsible for the implementation of the Federal Rural Development Scheme (BULE). The programme includes the implementation of pilot and demonstration projects, monitoring of competitions, as well as public relations, research management, and knowledge transfer.