Young farmers are on the road to improving the sustainability of European agriculture, Adam Nowak, vice president of CEJA has said.

Young farmers are the only ones who can overcome the challenge of innovation and technology at farm level, Nowak said speaking at the European young farmers conference in the Castleknock Hotel on Wednesday 25 January.

CEJA collectively represents around two million young farmers and its membership spans across 22 EU member states.

The seminar which is hosted by Macra takes place over two days and is strongly focussed on smart farming.

“Only young farmers can talk about the challenges we have in the future," Nowak said and he believes that the road to sustainability is going to involve smart farming and innovative farmers.

Smart farming

With smart farming a lot of problems and challenges can be solved, he said, adding that a solution to food shortages, climate change and poor water quality can be achieved.

“We know that the last few years have been very hard year for farmers with drought and also from an economic point of view. We need a strong policy from national governments that involves a stable food system with smart recommendations for smart farming.

“Knowledge and innovation are the most important objective for us in any policy,” he said.

Doris Letina, also vice president of CEJA, stressed that education is key to improving knowledge among young farmers adding that YouTube is not how this should be done.

“We need funding and if we don’t have access to finance, we don’t have access to knowledge,” she said.