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12 June 2009
Commemorative Issue

Royal Norwegian Society for Development bicentenary

The farewell party on 29 December 1809 for the Danish Prince Christian August (chosen as successor to the Swedish throne) was attended by many prestigious people and about two hundred were invited to help found a Norwegian society for local development.

The foundation ceremony took place in the Christiania Cathedral School auditorium, which was later used for meetings of the Storting and is now located at the Folk Museum in Oslo. A general assembly was held on 18 January 1810 to get the organisation started and to elect a president and other members of governing bodies and a secretariat. King Frederik VI was approached with the request to call the organisation Det Kongelige Selskab for Norges Vel (the Royal Norwegian Society for Development). The King agreed and granted his patronage to the Society - on one condition: that his name should be included among the members!

In 1810, the Society led the way in promoting the establishment of a Norwegian university in Christiania. During a long visit to Copen- hagen, Count Wedel Jarlsberg, one of the Society's prime movers, had plenty of opportunity to talk to King Frederik and on 2 September 1811 the King gave his approval. Activities started up in 1813 under the name of Det kgl. Frederiks Universitet. This name was kept until it was changed to Universitet i Oslo (the University of Oslo) in 1939.

There was really little activity in the Society until the 1850s, when new rules for government grants gave the Society a chance to invest more in its agricultural companies. Agricultural meetings were held at intervals of 2-3 years and these were the forerunner of the large agricultural shows. The Society also helped to establish dairies, dairy schools and a travelling agronomist scheme.

Today, the Society is best known for promoting business development in rural communities and for awarding the Medal for Long and True Service. It is also involved in development cooperation projects financed by Norad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These include algae farming in Madagascar, a demonstration farm and potato cultivation in Macedonia, and business development in East Africa.

Dairy farmer, Fish farm, Farm horse at work  

Dairy farmer, Fish farm, Farm horse at work


On the left we see a farmer pouring milk into a milk can after milking cows in a byre in Midtre Doralseter in Rondane.

In the middle, we see a small fish farm and a fishing boat in Bomlo in Hordland.

On the right, we see a farmer earthing up potatoes using a horse and old equipment, from Kv?fjord in Troms.

Cancellation Stamps

Technical Information

Number: NK 1723
Subject: Dairy farmer, fish farm, earthing up potatoes
Design: Martin Morck
Value: NOK 12.00
Issue: 600,000
No. per sheet: 50 stamps
Printing: Offset by Royal Joh. Enschede, Netherlands
Sales prices: First day cover: NOK 16.00
Presentation pack: NOK 17.00
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