Further young farmer drought aid pushed for in Europe

European young farmers’ representative group CEJA has urged the European Commission and national governments to put in place additional measures to help young farmers deal with the losses caused by drought.

Young farmers are particularly vulnerable to the damages caused by extreme weather conditions because they are just starting out and have few options to fall back on, the organisation has stressed.

CEJA president Jannes Maes said: “This year has, once again, shown us the need for strong, well-funded risk management tools in our agricultural policy.

This should be combined with further efforts to combat climate change which is likely to create more extreme weather in future.

“For that same reason young farmers see potential in further innovations, such as new breeding techniques, to adapt their production,” he said.

In a statement, the group said that CEJA appreciates the steps taken by the European Commission to deal with the effects of drought, including higher advanced payments and derogations from greening requirements.

However, additional financial packages should be made available and follow-ups carried out to verify if member states are providing these options to their farmers.

The recent events show that a broader range of tools that allows farmers to deal with drought must be implemented in the CAP, the association contended.

These tools should be flexible so that farmers can manage risk in the way best suited to their region and type of production.

Adverse weather conditions due to climate change are increasingly widespread. A strong system for handling the damages must be put in place to help young farmers face this challenge and similar ones in the years to come, according to the organisation.