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Friday, 13 April 2012

EC to support young farmers

During the course of a recent Conference, entitled “Sowing the Seeds to Harvest in Future: Supporting Young People into Farming”, held in Brussels this week, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloș has underlined that despite the tools available within the context of CAP, the EU has lost almost 3 million farmers over the last ten years. The Conference has been organized by European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA),  an umbrella organisation that gathers young farmers from all over EU countries and that is one of the key advocates for the agricultural sector in Europe.
Dacian Cioloș has pointed out the importance of a proactive policy in place, at European level,  to support the arrival of new farmers in the agricultural sector. “In order to do this, we must provide financial support with an installation subsidy and facilitate access to bank loans. I proposed that Member States put in place, within their Rural Development Programme, a sub-programme aimed at young farmers. This is a special aspect of this legislative proposal […]This will allow us to support them more intensely through co-financing specifically for young people”, he has stated.
Notably, Mr Cioloș has spoken of the proposal that aims an increase in the level of direct payments during the first five years of activity for young farmers who set up an enterprise and ask for this help. “I sometimes hear that this measure should be voluntary for Member States. But the political aim of this measure would be severely weakened if it is not obligatory for all Member States. It would mean not having a collective approach for the whole EU. We must focus on young farmers' problems, not borders within the EU.”

Source: European Commission