Comparative analysis on rural newcomers, new entrants into farming and successors in farming

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The aim of the comparative analysis is to get a general picture of the issues of rural newcomers, based on different types of rural contexts and to find areas in which the data shows promising new developments, relating them to the specific context they occur, and checking to see if they are worth further qualitative examination.

To achieve this aim, an analysis of rural newcomers, new entrants into farming and farm successors has been realised, based on a review of the national literature, data and statistics and supplemented with an analysis at the European level through FADN data and Eurostat data on family farming and young farmers. Results have culminated into a long list of promising developments for rural newcomers, new entrants to farming and successors.

The comparative analysis covered 10 countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain). To carry out the comparative analysis two steps were undertaken.

First, the relevance and usefulness of the different data sources (mainly FADN) were assessed.

Second, the statistical data on family farming was analysed (mainly Eurostat). This was complemented by analysing and comparing the different meanings of ‘rural’ and the different understandings and conceptualisations of newcomers, new entrants to farming and successors in the study countries. As a result, a total of 127 promising practices related to newcomers, new entrants and successors have been selected.

Finally, an analysis of the rural newcomers / new entrants into farming is carried out in terms of:

  • their type and profiles
  • the motivations for migrating into rural areas (e.g. family ties, working conditions, housing costs or quality of life)
  • the processes influencing rural migration (e.g. rapid agglomeration, population decline, cost of housing, changes in values, social innovations, in rural ares) and
  • the main problems faced by newcomers / new entrants to farming (e.g. access to land, the openness and integration into rural communities, the compatibility with the existing farmers, the absence of policies explicitly addressed to them, access to training).
Relevance for monitoring and evaluation of the CAP

This output is mainly a reference for evaluators to get a better understanding of the issues facing new entrants / newcomers to rural areas and of the data availabilty for analysing the impact of young farmer interventions/support on the performance and resilience of young farmers.

This comparative analysis offers a useful review of current FADN data available and its application to the project. FADN is one of the main data sources and the most essential and informative sources for understanding the impacts of the CAP and the impact of the measures undertaken as part of the CAP. 

RURALIZATION undertakes for the first time a thorough analysis of FADN in relation to new entrants / newcomers, concluding that:

  • FADN datasets do not include sufficient data to determine or provide insights into rural newcomers, new entrants into farming and successors.
  • FADN mainly consists of the financial and technical performance of farms with limited details on demographic variables, which includes labour.
  • With regard to new entrants on the FADN sampling farm, entering the FADN dataset for the first time, we would not know from the data if it were a new entrant into farming or a new entrant on that particular farm. A new entrant on one farm may have been an experienced farmer or farm manager on another farm.

The analysis of the relevance of the FADN dataset for evaluating interventions related to young farmers is complemented with the review and analysis of evaluation studies that use FADN as a data source to assess the net effects of CAP young farmer support (under both Pillars of the CAP), for instance on generational renewal or on performance and resilience among young farmer beneficiaries.

The outcomes of these studies reveal that young farmer support under the CAP (both Pillars) promotes better performance and resilience among young farmer beneficiaries than is found among similar farms in similar conditions that have not received the young farmer support, measured over a time period of 3-6 years. This is evidence of the additionality of funding regarding its impact upon farm performance.

There is a useful analysis and description of the collection of the following data variables through FADN and Eurostat that were used for the comparative analysis, including:

1. FADN:

  • Family farming and Labour
  • FADN information presented for different age groupings

2. Additional data to FADN:

  • Additional data, provided at the national and regional level, were collated and analysed to supplement the FADN variables as retrieved directly in the FADN results database

3. Eurostat:

  • Eurostat structural profiles of EU family farms and non-family farms
  • Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA) of family farms
  • Labour on family farms
  • Value of agricultural output on family farms
  • Farm managers by age class and type of farm labour
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