A European Innovation Partnership (EIP) operational group established a network of farm incubators in Spain to support young farmers who do not have previous family connections or a background in farming.
The barriers to entry for new farmers are high: land access, start-up costs, finding a niche in the market and a lack of social support all pose challenges. At the same time, a new type of entrant to the profession has appeared: new, prospective young farmers with neither previous family connections nor any background in farming
This is a new issue in Europe and, therefore, policies need to be adjusted and new support tools adapted to ensure their successful integration into the sector.
Farm incubators are programmes that facilitate the progressive integration of new entrants into farming. This EIP operational group created the basis for a network of farm incubators and provided all the resources needed to create new farm incubators throughout Spain: namely, a guide to setting up an incubator farm; a support centre for starting and running incubator farms; and the implementation of two pilot incubator farms.
The incorporation of two testers on the pilot farm incubators is expected within the following two years.
The project is also helping to set up new farm incubators. In the next two years, it is expected that ten more will be established around the country.
During the project, the organising team assisted 12 interested actors, and they plan to give assistance to 30 more people over the next two years.