Operating areaohjelman kansikartta-002

  • Saarijärvi
  • Viitasaari
  • Äänekoski, excluding the planning areas of Äänekoski
  • The municipalities of Kannonkoski, Karstula, Kinnula, Kivijärvi, Kyyjärvi and Pihtipudas


The operating area of LAG Viisari was home to approximately 43,600 people at the end of 2012. It is less than one-fifth of the population of the whole Central Finland region. The surface of the area is about 8,500 km², which, however, covers over 40% of the whole surface area of the region. The operating area is mainly sparsely populated countryside with less than 5 residents per km². Only the areas of Äänekoski and Saarijärvi have a higher population density.


Natural resources – forests, mires, fields and waterways – are essential resources of the area. The strongpoints of business activities are small, active companies and hard-working entrepreneurs. Business activities are based especially on bioenergy, small-scale industry, tourism and services, but agriculture and forestry are also very important.


Business challenges are related to co-operation and networking among other things. The companies need a broader clientele, more creativity and entrepreneurship as well as new entrepreneurs to continue business operations. A lot needs to be done in terms of internationalisation and in the utilisation of the lake districts and natural products.




Natural resources and closeness to nature

Attractive living environment

Central location

Strong local activities



Condition of roads

Decreasing and ageing population

Long distances – population clusters and customers far away


Raising the rate of processing local natural resources

Local culture and youth

Utilisation of education clusters

Recreational housing


Disappearing services

Decreasing jobs and education opportunities

Lack of people to continue business operations

Lack of exploitation of natural resources