Back next generation, Euro MPs are urged

NEWLY-ELECTED Euro MPs have been urged to support young farmers – and provide sensible and workable agricultural legislation throughout Europe.

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) made the call amid fears that some states may back down on some rural development measures in Pillar 2 of the Common Agricultural Policy.

NFYFC attended the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) meeting in Brussels in May where concerns were raised that measures such as start-up grants for young farmers, may be withdrawn in the belief that Pillar 1 (single farm payment) offers enough support for young farmers.

But Charlotte Johnston, NFYFC’s CEJA representative, said: “Mandatory proposals under Pillar 1 will, in reality, only support a minority of young farmers.

“Major issues, including access to land, access to credit and high establishment costs, are huge barriers facing young producers, which this mandatory measure does not address.

“It is vital for the future of UK agriculture that we see measures for young farmers under the Rural Development Programme.

“Some member states, such as France, have put as much as ten per cent of RDPE funding into young farmers. Historically, in the UK, it has been less than one per cent. Now is the time to change this and motivate and support the next generation.”

NFYFC wants to see the implementation of capital grants, training and investment to provide young farmers with the essential business skills needed to run profitable farming businesses.

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