The challenge of ensuring the long term viability of EU farming

The EU gives millions of euros in subsidies to its member states to develop their rural areas and ensure the long-term viability of the European farming sector.

But in just 10 years, millions of  farms have disappeared, while the total area used for agriculture has remained the same.

At the same time, people working in farms are growing progressively older.

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.

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

Sources: Eurostat, European Commission

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