The challenge of ensuring the long term viability of EU farming

While employment is a key objective for rural development, an ageing working force on farms has become an impediment  for rural areas in the EU.

The EU gives millions of euros in subsidies to its member states to develop their rural areas.

But in just 10 years, millions of farms have disappeared, while the total area used for farming remains the same.

In 2013, EU farmers under 35 represented just 6% of all holding managers while 31% were 65 or over.

Supporting young farmers is a key objective under the rural development pillar of the new CAP, as they are more likely to modernise the sector and ensure its sustainability.

Nearly 180,000 young farmers are expected to get start-up aid in the current period.

Sources: Eurostat, European Commission

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