European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan has said that the share of direct payments reserved for young farmers would increase from 0.8% to 2% across the EU under current proposals for the CAP after 2020.

He told a meeting of the EU young farmers' umbrella organisation CEJA in Brussels this Tuesday that each country would have to spend at least 2% of its so-called Pillar I allocation either on BPS top-ups for young farmers or on lump sum installation grants of up to €100,000.

Generational renewal

"Spending today amounts to only 0.8%," Commissioner Hogan said. "With this financial earmark, we are more than doubling our firepower to support generational renewal."

He added that each country would have the option to support the transition from older to younger farmers, listing a few examples:

  • Retirement planning and lump sum payments for older farmers who permanently transfer their holding.
  • Enhanced transition planning services.
  • Improved brokerage for land acquisition – Commissioner Hogan referred to Ireland's land mobility service as an example.
  • Financial instruments to support working capital.
  • It will also become easier for young farmers to travel during their education under the Erasmus programme and growing EU-Africa co-operation.

    I urge banks... to get on board

    Citing the recent announcement of a €1bn loan fund by the European Investment Bank (EIB) for young farmers and the bioeconomy, Commissioner Hogan said the first two pilot loans of €275m were now being developed in France with Crédit Agricole and soon in Italy and co-funding by private banks was expected to double the funds available.

    "I urge banks, particularly those with a tradition of lending to the agriculture and rural economy, to get on board and engage with the EIB to reach the €2bn," he said.

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