Land mobility and CAP: Lump sum payments for older farmers mooted

EU member states are set to be given the option to encourage different types of farmer cooperation to lower the age profile of farmers across the union under Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) proposals tabled by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan.

These measures could allow for retirement options, farm partnerships and lump sum payments for older farmers who transfer their holdings, the commissioner noted.

Speaking at the CEJA Presidium 2019 in Brussels on Tuesday, May 28, the commissioner outlined measures dedicated to young farmer support and generational renewal under the proposals for the reform of the CAP.

Commissioner Hogan said: “There will be an increase in the maximum amount of available aid for the installation of young farmers and rural business start-ups, up to €100,000.

“Beyond direct payments, member states will have the option to support different forms of cooperation between farmers. This could encompass farm partnerships between different generations of farmers.

It could mean retirement planning and lump sum payments for older farmers who permanently transfer their holding.

“It could mean enhanced transition planning services; it could mean improved brokerage for land acquisition; it could support innovative national or regional organisations engaged in promoting and facilitating matching services between young and old farmers and so on.

“This reflects and even builds upon the strong work done in some member states, including the one I know best, in relation to land mobility.”

Commissioner Hogan outlined that such moves should make it easier for young farmers to enter the sector, “should hopefully see the overall proportion of young farmers increase”.

“This should ensure that the total pot of direct payments reaching young farmers will be well into the double digits as a percentage of the overall envelope,” the commissioner said.