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Removing the barriers and supporting young farmers
Encouraging young entrants to the industry can not only bring innovation and enthusiasm to farming, but it is also important in sustaining rural communities and the Welsh culture.
The publication of the consultation meets a One Wales commitment to support young entrants to farming, and includes proposals on how to use £2m of funding available from 2010 to best effect.
Elin Jones said:
Young entrants to the farming industry represent the future. Removing the barriers that young entrants face and supporting them as they set up their business has been a priority for me since I became Minister, and I am pleased to be publishing this consultation at the start of this year’s Royal Welsh Show. I want it to be a topic of discussion and I want people to be looking towards the future of the industry.
To stimulate discussion and to find out the views of young entrants themselves I will be hosting a breakfast on Wednesday at the showground.
There are a number of ways we can provide support for young entrants including providing advice on marketing and business plans; one-to-one mentoring; encouraging joint ventures with established farmers to assist with succession and assisting with the issue of access to land and housing.
Of course, there are challenges facing the industry, which is why it is vital that young entrants have the support they need to face up to these. They have a crucial role in the future of our food and farming industry and in maintaining the fabric of our rural communities.
Proposals in the consultation include:
- Establish an innovative management development programme targeted at young entrants through Farming Connect. At its core will be a modular training programme aimed at developing the knowledge and skills needed to run a successful business.
- One-to-one advice from approved advisors and mentors under Farming Connect.
- Providing a Young Entrants Pack to include business planning tools and information on support available.
- Explore opportunities to develop joint ventures such as share farming, contract farming and tenancy arrangements between young farmers wanting to gain a foothold in the industry and established farmers looking to ease their workload and business commitments.
- Using the £2m from 2010 to set up a loan or subsidy scheme for the purchase of equipment or construction of buildings; or use it as targeted support for young entrepreneurs in the industry.
Elin Jones said:
These are proposals and I look forward to hearing the views of all involved in the industry.
A separate consultation addressing the issue of housing in rural areas was published earlier this month including proposals to allow a farmer to build a second home on an existing holding for a part-time worker on the farm or to help with succession planning for a retiring farmer.