At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels yesterday, Agriculture Ministers from across the EU agreed on Presidency Conclusions in order to promote generational renewal in the sector. These conclusions, drawing on some of the proposals initiated by CEJA earlier this year, mark important progress in securing the future of the EU agricultural sector and are testament to the fact that young farmers must play a key role in it.
The Presidency Conclusions outline and recognise the current demographic situation in the EU farming population as a matter of serious concern which needs to be addressed. The document also acknowledges the lack of access to credit as a huge barrier to young people attempting to start, or take over, a farm and addresses the problem by calling upon the European Investment Bank (EIB) to facilitate loans at favourable rates exclusively to young farmers.
Addressing CEJA members alongside Minister Martina at the CEJA working group after the Council meeting, CEJA President Matteo Bartolini strongly welcomed the conclusions, saying: “CEJA is delighted to see that young farmers are at the heart of these Presidency conclusions. It is excellent news that the EU farm Ministers have been able to agree on plans for support to be made available to young people attempting to access the sector in the coming years. If these are implemented successfully, we may be able to eradicate one of the biggest barriers to entry of the sector, thereby enabling young farmers to improve the job creation, growth and competitiveness of European agriculture.”
For further information:
Jessica Fitch, Communications Officer, Tel: +32 (0)2 230 4210