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    NFU Conference today: CAP must consider future farmers

    NewsThursday 28 February 2013
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    The ‘next generation’ breakout session at the NFU Conference today will be told about the benefits that a young entrants’ scheme could have in the next CAP. 

    William Lawrence, the chairman of the NFU’s Next Generation Policy Forum, will speak about the group’s position on the CAP and young entrants.
     
    He will make his points during the ‘Changing Perceptions for a Career in Farming’ session.
     
    The NFU has already reported that his speech is set to highlight the concerns over the barriers to new entrants and the need for a Young Entrants’ Scheme as part of the current reform. 
     
    He will also be calling for structured succession planning to become more commonplace, as the average age of farmers goes up. 
     
    The chairman of the YFC’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Chris Bateman, will also be speaking at the Conference along with the Harper Adams Principal, Dr David Llwellyn, and Richard Longthorp, Chairman of the AgriSkills management group. 
     
    Mr Lawrence will say: “The Next Generation Policy Forum is determined to make sure that future generations of farmers have their voices heard during the CAP negotiations. 
     
    “We believe pillar two should be used more effectively encouraging young skilled farmers in the hope that they will be less dependent on public support. To that end The NGPF support the idea of a Young Entrant Scheme (YES). 
     
    “And with leaked figures of the new CAP budget showing that UK will see a 22 per cent reduction for rural development, it is crucial to make the most out of the scarce financial resources available. The aim of the scheme is to support viable and profitable businesses that will play a crucial role in the future of UK agriculture. 
     
    “But farming needs to help itself too. The current lack of succession planning is a chronic problem that needs urgent attention. We have decided to tackle this complicated issue because farming has an ageing population, and there is a clear need for restructuring of the industry to allow some to retire and others to take up the reins. The individual complexities of each situation mean that there is no one size fits all solution. Nevertheless, we are convinced that succession should be planned in advance but executed through a phased transition. 
     
    “We also believe that special advice on retirement and succession as a distinct component within the advisory services under the Rural Development Program would help farmers approaching retirement get the easy and accessible tools to plan their succession.” 
     
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