NFU Cymru President Stephen James has welcomed the publication of the ‘Next Generation into Farming’ report saying, “Providing opportunities for young people, not always from a farming background, to enter the industry is one of our key objectives going forward.”
The report is the work of Malcolm Thomas MBE and considers mobility within the Welsh agricultural industry, making 28 recommendations to Welsh Government aimed at encouraging new blood into farming.
Mr James said, “This is clearly a very significant piece of work and we are pleased that Welsh Government has agreed to take forward the implementation of the vast majority of the recommendations as they will be vital in providing support to new entrants to the industry.
“NFU Cymru is aware that access to land is one of the most significant barriers to new entrants. For this reason, we believe that the recommendations aimed at stimulating mobility by supporting farmers who wish to scale back or leave the industry and through matching these farmers and new entrants will be so important. As a Union we look forward to working with Welsh Government in the coming months to develop the Joint Opportunities Platform which is a key recommendation in the report.
“We also welcome, within the report, the specific focus on the Local Authority farm estate and we urge Welsh Government to work closely with Local Authorities to ensure that this vital resource is protected so that opportunities for new entrants to the industry can continue to be provided.”
Mr James concluded, “We all have an important role to play in improving mobility within agriculture. As a Union we continue to highlight the issue. In the summer we launched our campaign aimed at moving the Welsh agricultural industry forward. We have produced a video and accompanying electronic booklet providing advice and guidance to young people seeking to make their career in agriculture. All the information is available on the NFU Cymru website: . Opportunities for the next generation will also be the theme of our annual conference next month.”