The European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) has said it is “deeply concerned” by amendments to young farmer supports in the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which will be voted on this Monday April 2.

In particular, they’ve pointed out that amendments don’t allow for a guaranteed specific amount of financial aid for young farmers in pillar II.

“There has been no increase in the ambition for young farmers’ measures and the 2% to be ring-fenced will only apply to the Complementary Income Support for Young Farmers,” CEJA said.

Organisational support needed

The group has urged young farmer organisations in each member state to remind their political representatives of the importance of generational renewal.

“It will be crucial that young farmers’ organisations play an active role in the elaboration of the SWOT analyses that will take place in every member state, in order to show that they have not been forgotten by their representatives and as an acknowledgement that generational renewal isn’t merely a written objective but an urgent and real need for the future of the sector,” said CEJA president Jannes Maes.

Under 35

In Ireland, it’s estimated that just 6% of the farmer population is under 35, which tallies with the EU average.

The figure is disappointing and worrying for the future of farming and previous commitments have been made that generational renewal will be a priority in the next CAP.

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