A mandatory package of financial support for young farmers should be part of the new CAP, according to The European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA).

In order to encourage new entrants, CEJA is proposing a two-pronged package of support for farmers under the age of 40.

In Pillar 1 the package would see young farmers receiving a top-up payment worth 25% of the value of direct payments. This would act as a “buffer” in the most diffcult first five years.

In Pillar 2, the support plan would see young farmers qualify for “installation aid” up to the value of €70,000 (£59,000). This would come in the form of a one-off payment to get their business off the ground.

Speaking at the YFC AGM in Blackpool, Lancashire, CEJA president Joris Baecke says the proposal would allow young farmers in the UK and across the EU to start up sooner.

“Our first ambition is a younger sector,” he said. “We want to have a higher percentage of people under-35 running the farms. This will bring with it modernisation, competitiveness and new ideas.”

“Our first ambition is a younger sector.”
Joris Baecke

Mr Baecke cited France as an example of how this kind of support can revitalise farming. France has offered a financial package for new entrants for several years and now has the highest percentage of farmers under 35 in the EU.

The proposals are now being negotiated by the European Commission, Parliament and Council, with CEJA pushing for a mandatory, rather than voluntary deal, for all member states.

Details on the final deal will be announced in June.

More from the YFC AGM

For photographs, videos and the latest news from the Young Farmers Conference in Blackpool see our dedicated page.