Food supply safety depends on climate and soil, but the decisive factor are the people and the opportunities they have to develop farming activity. In order to support young American farmers, a bill was put forward in April in the US Congress, aiming to lift the current obstacles making daily business more difficult for them.
Problems of the beginners
The main challenge for people entering the market of agricultural producers in the USA is gaining the financial resources for an effective start and developing one’s activity. Without money, investment in the farm is impossible, and beginners are unlikely to make a profit. It it not surprising, therefore, that few decide to take this risk. The average age of agricultural producers is thus rising, which does not sound optimistic if food supply safety in the country is taken into consideration.
The bill aims at making farmland more accessible for young people, making investment loans on preferential terms more available, and providing technological support for agricultural producers commencing their activity in the business. Should the proposed solutions become reality, they will enable young farmers to open new farms and develop their own businesses. Additionally, the project involves conducting specialist analysis, providing hints as to the development of particular farms, as well as implementing mentoring systems and training for people starting their work as farmers.
Poland is also supporting young farmers
Rural Areas Development Programme 2007-2013 (PROW) includes a set of activities called Facilitating the start for young farmers. The future terms of aid that will be available are being negotiated because the precise allocation of EU budget for 2014-2020 is still in preparation. The new PROW will feature a program called A premium for young farmers, whose aim is to “foster generational exchange in the agricultural sector”. However, current proposals concerning the eligibility of potential participants of the program, such as the acreage of the farm and one’s years of experience in running the farm, leave many questions unanswered. The total budget to be granted for the program has not been announced either.