Abja Rural Municipality is situated in the Halliste Parish, the southern part of Viljandi County. The Halliste River and Kariste Lake are located near the northern border of the rural municipality. The municipality shares its southern border with the Republic of Latvia. The relief of the rural municipality may be classified as two: the northern part is covered with hummocks, mature valleys and walleys with a notch-like bottom, and the southern part is plains. The Pärnu-Valga asphalt road passes through the rural municipality and the Abja-Paluoja-Sultsi and Mõisaküla roads start from this road. The rest of the roads are covered with gravel, their total lenght is 77km.
At present, the rural municipality owns 29.019ha of land. It is divided into cultivated land 9.630ha, natural grassland 1.652ha, forest and 12.913ha, yard land 179ha, other land 3.587ha.
People settled the place at least five thousand years ago, which may be concluded on the basis of incidental discoveries and graveyards. At the beginning of the 13th Century, these territories were conquered by German knights. Our municipality belonged to the Karksi Bailwick of the Viljandi Commandery. Abja was mentioned for the first time in historical sources in 1504. As a result of the Livonian War Poland seized power and governed us from 1560 to 1629. In consequence of the Altmark Peace Treaty, we became subjects of Sweden. By reason of the Great Northern War we belonged under Russia from 1710 to 1918. The year 1918 saw the German occupation. We were independent from 1918 to 1940.
Soviet power was established in 1940 and German occupation lasted for the years 1941 to 1944. During the years 1944 to 1991, our state suffered under Soviet occupation. The occupations of the last 60 years have changed the life of the Abja Rural Municipality to a great extent. 166 persons were arrested and 314 persons deported by the Soviet power. In 1944, many people escaped to Germany and Poland. People have also been continously leaving for towns and cities.
Agriculture is the main sector of economy in Abja. The arable land is fertile and provides good yields when taken care of. Up to the middle of the 19th Century, the land belonged to the following masons: Abja, Penuja, Laatre, Veelikse and Vanamõisa. After that, until the year 1940, the land was owned by wealthier farms. Beginning from the year 1949, during the Soviet power, the land belonged to the collective farms, later to two state farms: Abja and Kamara. At present, 70% of the land has an owner. There are 179 farms in the Abja Rural Municipality.
Grain growing has been the main area of activity regarding agriculture in Abja. In the second half of the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century, people also dealt with flax growing, and in the 20th Century, with cattle breeding and forage production.
The Abja Flax Mill that operated from 1910 to 1990 and now As Toom Tekstiil, founded 1995 and employing over 100 persons, have formed the indrustrial enerprises of our municipality.
During the 20th Century, there were also many servicing companies. Abja Tarbijate Ühistu, fonded in 1909, (Abja Consumer Association) deals with trade. There are 8 other companies that engage in trade in Abja.
People have had the possibility to get education in Abja from the year 1812. Until 1919, there were rural municipality and parish schools in Abja, after that elementary schools were established. Since the year 1940, one has been able to get upper secondary education in Abja.
There are 2 kindergartens in the rural municipality: in Abja-Paluoja (founded in 1912) and in Kamara (founded in 1962).
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the municipality saw the start of active social life. Economic, cultural and educational associations were established. The cultural associations practised traditional folk culture: choirs, folk dancing, plays and sports. Up to the year 1940, these activities were managed by the Fire Fighting Association, educational associations and the National Defence League. Today, the Abja Community Center, founded in 1945, is the promoter of cultural interests.
There are points of interests in Abja: in the field of architecture there is a former bank building (architect E.Kuusik), a school building, community center, community office, Abja Manor and its production buildings, the ruins of Penuja Chruch, and the so-called mansions and barn-dwellings of the inhabitants of Viljandi County. There are memorials erected to Jaan Jung, August Kitzberg, Johan Ludri, the casualties of the War of Independence and the murder victims of the year 1941. The Devonian sandstone outcrops on the banks of the Halliste River and its tributaries and streams are the most significant natural sights-they are called hells and they situated in Vända Valey, Pikamatsi, Hendrikhansu and the Lopa outcropping.