• 30-JAN-2014

  • Brussels, Belgium

Young Farmers Key to Innovating Agriculture Sector, EPP Group MEPs say

The second-annual European Congress of Young Farmers honoured top innovators in agriculture, hosted by EPP Group MEPs. It wrapped up a two-day conference aimed at encouraging more young Europeans to turn to farming as a source of employment, with the help of the new budget from the Common Agricultural Policy.

Currently for every nine European farmers over the age of 55, there's only one under 35. The farming work force has aged more than in any other sector. Since 2000, the number of farmers fell 9% overall, and 45% among young farmers. Thus the urgency to attract youth.

The gathering handed out three awards, the top prize worth 10,000 euros, to farmers who are innovative, develop sustainable agriculture and pioneer new marketing techniques. The top award this year went to Dutch farmer Eric Pelleboer, whose project has successfully connected farmers with consumers to exchange information and promote better farming. Available material includes an edited package.