Nearly 61% of EU young farmers consider the availability of land for purchase and 57% the availability of land for rent as the most difficult challenges they face, often due to issues such as land ownership laws, inheritance rules and land prices, according to a new report published by the European Commission this week. As the report states, access to credits and subsidies are also perceived as difficult by more than one third of young farmersThe survey was conducted during the period of 2014 – 2015, when 2200 participants from 28 Member – States across Europe were interviewed, in order to identify the main challenges faced in each Member State.
There is relatively little difference on these issues between young farmers in the EU-15 and those in the EU-13, but for questions such as access to qualified labour, seasonal workers and machinery, there is clearly a stronger problem perceived by young farmers in the new Member States.
As far as knowledge and information acquisition is concerned, the report shows that when young farmers are looking for information, they will first consult other farmers, followed by farmers’ association and agricultural advisers & consultants. The internet and exchange schemes are also vital sources of information, showing for example that young farmers with higher levels of education more eager to join exchange schemes.
The report also takes a detailed look at the different types of exchange schemes already available, and then provides guidance for ways of making them more successful.