It has been confirmed today that at least 2% of the “national direct payments envelope” will have to be devoted to generational renewal. Currently, this figure amounts to “only 0.8%”.

This is according to the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, as he was speaking at the CEJA Presidium 2019 in Brussels today, Tuesday, May 28.

Hogan today confirmed: “This amount has to be allocated either in the form of top-up income support in Pillar I and/or lump sum installation grants in Pillar II.”

The commissioner further noted that young farmers and generational renewal has been explicitly stated as a key objective of the CAP “for the first time ever”.

Continuing, Commissioner Hogan said: “Young farmers will benefit from a wide range of instruments, through a combination of mandatory and voluntary aspects.

This is a very important innovation. Member states will have to ‘use it or lose it’.

“Our proposal also includes complementary income support measures: The top-up for young farmers under direct payments is kept and reinforced financially, but member states will have more capacity to tailor the scheme to the specific needs of young farmers.

“In addition, reserves for payment entitlements will be used, as a matter of priority, for young farmers and farmers commencing their agricultural activity.

“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.

We are more than doubling our firepower to support generational renewal.

“Making it easier for young farmers to enter the sector through such direct aids, should hopefully see the overall proportion of young farmers increase.”

Concluding, Hogan reiterated that the measures “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”.