New EIP-AGRI article
Even though there is a growing number of young people in the Netherlands wanting to start a career in sustainable agriculture, many Dutch farmers still have trouble finding a successor. Operational Group Land in Connection wanted to bridge this gap, so they experimented with initiatives such as the ‘farm-in-farm’ where existing farms act as incubators for small start-up agricultural companies.
Project leader Maria van Boxtel, Landgilde, explains “Two thirds of farmers in the Dutch province of Gelderland aged 55 or older have no one to take over their farms when they retire (report by ABN AMRO, Dutch bank). What is more, farms have increased in size and therefore reduced in number which makes it difficult for young people to take the plunge.” Rising land prices, especially in sectors such as arable farming and dairy farming, are also an obstacle. But Maria goes on, “At the same time, we have observed that more and more young people from a non-farming background are becoming interested in the organic farming sector.”