On 26th of September 2021, Germany will elect its 20th federal parliament. While many issues need fast political reaction, like steering Germany through the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, the agricultural sector and especially young farmers need reliable long-term policy. The German Rural Youth Association (BDL – Bund der Deutschen Landjugend e.V.) has been advocating for the political needs of German young farmers for years. With more than 100,000 members, BDL is the largest youth association in rural areas in Germany.
Young farmers, no matter if they are new entrants or family farm successors, need good representation in politics. Because as the next generation, they will not only contribute to food security, but they will also be key stakeholders in the ongoing environmental crisis. While societal and political pressure on young farmers is increasing, the number of obstacles is growing as well. For example, profitability for agricultural products is low while bureaucratic hurdles are high. As a consequence, many young people give up their farms or do not enter the farming business in the first place. This is why in its demands, BDL especially emphasizes early farm succession to promote generational change and improve future perspectives. Young farmers not only need financial incentives to take over farms, but current political instruments need to be upgraded and enforced appropriately as well.
BDL acknowledges that improvements of the conditions around farm succession need multifaceted solutions. It is a task in society as a whole, including politics, economy, science, consumers, and farmers.
The electoral demands are the starting point for constructive dialogues and discussions of BDL’s young farmers and policy makers. For example, in its annual young farmers dinner, BDL has invited members of and candidates for the federal parliament to talk to young farmers about their needs. Furthermore, last autumn BDL already presented its demands to representatives of the parliaments in its “Rural Youth in the Bundestag” event.
The conversation will not stop with the elections in September. BDL will continue to advocate for young farmers rights and opinions, in the coalition negotiations and beyond.
Cover sheet of BDL’s demands for the election of the federal parliament.
In autumn 2020, young farmers and politicians came together to discuss the needs of young farmers for the annual Rural Youth in the Bundestag event.
Reception of the Rural Youth in the Bundestag event.