Farmer and son© Cultura/ Rex

The Welsh government needs to encourage mobility and increase share farming to attract the next generation of farmers, CLA Cymru has warned.

The Next Generation into Farming review by Malcolm Thomas warned the industry must do more to present itself as an exciting, rewarding and profitable career choice to stem the decline of young and new entrants into the industry.

The review said government must increase mobility by encouraging new blood into the industry and support those who wish to leave.

See also: Share farming can get young farmers started

One key recommendation includes a push for government to promote “share farming”, where typically two farming businesses share the same land and divide the profits.

CLA Cymu policy director Karen Anthony warned the Welsh government must do more to attract new entrants or it risked losing a generation of energetic, young people to drive the industry forward.

Rebecca Evans, Wales’ deputy minister for farming and food, said the government was working with the industry to identify new ways to attract fresh blood.

Earlier this month, Ms Evans met with representatives from Future Farmers of Wales to discuss opportunities for young farmers to progress in the industry.

She said: “New lifeblood and fresh ideas are essential for Welsh agriculture to meet the challenges of an ever-changing industry, and young people are the key drivers of the change we need if we are to deliver a resilient, sustainable and profitable farming industry for Wales.”

The deputy minister has also announced a package of support to Wales Young Farmers Clubs to help them continue their important work in helping to develop our future farmers and farming leaders.

Meanwhile, the Welsh government is also working closely with the Young Entrants Support Scheme (YESS) stakeholder group to identify appropriate mechanisms of support for young and new entrants through the new Wales Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014–2020.

 Ms Evans will make an announcement on next steps to encourage mobility in the summer.

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