A fair income level is needed for the development of an economically sustainable farm, say European young farmers.
A survey of farmers under 40 years old across all 28 EU member states, shows that they are ‘environmentally conscious’ but that they want to be recognized by civil society for their work on their farm and sustaining local communities. The president of the European Young Farmers Association (CEJA), Mr. Jannes Maes, said: “Without young farmers in the fields of Europe, the future of food production and open landscapes would be compromised”.
The survey confirmed that access to land was seen as a significant barrier to entry – selected by just over half the respondents, making it the second most important factor overall after a fair income level. Those surveyed also identified simpler administration as important (42.23%). The survey also shows that young farmers believe it is critical that the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) does more to facilitate them with access to land and credit.
The survey, Building a Sustainable Sector, was presented at a conference in the European Parliament on September 27 where the European Union’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Phil Hogan, described young farmers as the “environmentalists of tomorrow” and the future of our EU agri-food sector, said the Commissioner.
Mr. Hogan added: “We need to stimulate a new generation of young agri-innovators and agri-entrepreneurs to develop the agri-food sector of the 21st century. In so doing, we will keep the countryside alive and promote a more sustainable, competitive and modern agriculture.”
Source: European Young Farmers: Building a Sustainable Sector and AgraFacts.