The future of agriculture and sustainability depends heavily on the young population.
In recent years in particular, the average age of agricultural workers has risen considerably: only one tenth of European farmers are under 44 years old.
For this reason, one of the priorities of the new Common Agricultural Policy is to encourage young people to explore this type of work and support those who want to start their career in sustainable agriculture.
Beyond agriculture, another goal of the new policy is to improve rural quality of life by supporting rural service provision, infrastructure and rural economic.
These issues were discussed in the Policy Dialogue with Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wokciechowski. If you couldn’t attend the event, read on and learn how to watch the event’s streaming video.
The key point of the discussion
The event was useful to discuss the importance of agriculture and the introduction of young people in this type of work.
Participants had the opportunity to dialogue with the organisers and share their views on these issues.
The dialogue followed the following key points:
- What are the main worries and key opportunities for youth in agriculture and rural areas?
- How the CAP supports young farmers?
- How young people can be empowered to take an active role in local development?
- Other relevant topics such as animal welfare or maintenance of rural areas?
These questions were useful to better organise the meeting and allowed to create a dialogue between the participants and the organisers.
The topics of the discussion
The outcome of the event can be summarised as follows:
- Generational renewal. There are difficulties for the young farmers because of difficulties to have access to land, limited services in rural areas, limited revenues, high risks and limited insurance systems, increased by the climate change, as well as social recognition of agriculture. The first instalments support should take these elements into account. The young farmers voiced that more incentives and less red tape would be desirable under the Common Agriculture Policy.
- Quality, not quantity. The added value of the EU agricultural products is related to the quality and safety, which is the highest in the world and this should be further promoted.
- Revenues for farmers should be increased, not least by increasing the share of prices paid by consumers into farmers’ revenues. Decreasing the abuse of position by supermarkets, guaranteeing that the prices paid by supermarkets cannot be lower than the production costs could also ensure higher revenues for farmers
- EU funding for agriculture. EU funding instruments should contribute to support rural areas, such as cohesion funds and Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The Video Resume
If you want to learn what more about the event you can view the video resume on the official website.