Generational renewal in a rural development context goes beyond a reduction in the average age of farmers in the EU. It is also about empowering a new generation of highly qualified young farmers to bring the full benefits of technology in order to support sustainable farming practices in Europe.
Young farmers can make a pertinent contribution to promoting rural prosperity, strengthening rural value chains, and investing in rural viability and vitality – three of the ten policy orientations articulated in the Cork 2.0 Declaration of September 2016.
Nonetheless, young people interested in taking up farming face challenges such as access to land, finance, knowledge and training.
In this context, the ENRD Contact Point supports generational renewal through thematic activities such as:
- identifying how various Rural Development Programme (RDP) Measures could be effectively implemented to facilitate access to land, finance, knowledge and training;
- facilitating cooperation and information exchange between National Rural Network (NRN) representatives and young farmers and new entrants into farming.
Browse through the good practice examples related to young farmers in the ENRD Projects database.
The following factsheets present good practice examples of young farmers from different farming sectors involved in innovation, new technologies, cooperation and increased production.
- New entrants with no farming background, Jeunes Agriculteurs, France
- Innovation Cultivating Tradition, Fabio Curto, Italy
- Developing a product prototype through cooperation, Eleonora Lisi, Italy
- Joint family effort for improved and sustainable results, Juraj, Lucia and Marek Mačaj, Slovakia
- Increased farm productivity, Richard Bower, United Kingdom
ENRD workshop on ‘Generational Renewal through Rural Development’ (25 January 2017)
ENRD video materials
Explore a range of videos on young farmers and rural youth at the EURural YouTube channel of the ENRD.
ENRD thematic outputs on the topic of ‘Generational Renewal’ will be continuously uploaded here as they become available.
EU support to young farmers
Young farmers and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
See an overview of the various types of CAP financial support to young farmers.
- ‘Young farmers and the CAP’ brochure
Exchange programmes for young farmers
This European project produced a range of materials identifying and classifying the specific needs of young farmers in each EU Member State and across Europe. See the final report overviewing:
- Needs of young farmers (part I)
- Exchange schemes for young farmers (Part II)
- Guide for successful exchange schemes (Part III)
See also individual country reports and factsheets on young farmers' needs in each EU Member State.
New entrants into farming
A collection of information materials resulted from a dedicated EIP-AGRI Focus Group on ‘New entrants into farming: lessons to foster innovation and entrepreneurship’.
The following organisations work at the EU level to represent young farmers across Europe and promote the next generation of sustainable farmers.
- European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA)
- See the results of an EU-wide survey 'European Young Farmers: Building a Sustainable Sector'
- Future farmers in the Spotlight
National Rural Networks (NRNs) have launched various initiatives to raise awareness of young farmers’ needs and highlight good practice examples.