Government wants €75 million for young farmers

The Dutch government is to earmark €75 million for young farmers who are establishing their own companies. Less than 4% of all farmers in the Netherlands are aged under 35. At the same time, there is a growing number of young entrepreneurs who would like to establish farms. The newly-to-be-established fund may be able to help them do so. On Saturday 2 December, the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, will discuss this subject with the Dutch Agricultural Youth Association (Nederlands Agrarisch Jongeren Kontakt, NAJK), the association promoting the interests of young Dutch farmers, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

‘For some time, the agriculture sector has been concerned about who is to keep existing farms up and running’, said Minister Schouten. ‘Young entrepreneurs who are highly motivated to become farmers are often faced with a heavy financial burden when establishing their own company or taking over someone else’s farm. It is not easy for young farmers to obtain funding for these early stages. I would like to enter into a debate with NAJK about the specific implementation of the fund. For instance, the fund should also help young entrepreneurs make their companies more sustainable’. The fund for young farmers is scheduled to be realised by the first half of 2018.