What will young farmers get from CAP reform?

DEFRA has indicated that it would prefer not to restrict its Young Farmer Scheme (YFS), to be introduced as part of the new CAP, to people with certain qualifications.

In a consultation paper released on Thursday (31 October), the government confirmed a scheme would be introduced as required under the EU regulations.

The YFS will give eligible new entrants an additional sum of about 25% of their payment under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) for a five year period.

The BPS is the replacement for the Single Payment Scheme.

YFS claimants will need to be an individual, under 40 at the time of application and set up as the “head of a holding” within the previous five years.

While member states have the option to set extra eligibility criteria – such as holding an appropriate qualification or preparing a realistic business plan – DEFRA said it preference was not to do this.

“It would be difficult to capture informal skills developed by those who have been working on family farms from a young age.

“The additional administrative costs needed to apply such criteria are likely to be significant, because they would require time-consuming and costly review of applicants’ evidence.”

As part of the consultation DEFRA is seeking views on what should be the limit on the number of entitlements (or hectares) on which the additional young farmer top-up can be made.

The lowest limit possible is 25 entitlements (or hectares) and the highest is 90.

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