Old farmers will be paid up to £100,000 to retire in bid to freshen industry with new workers who are keener on green methods
- Environment Secretary believes older farmers hesitant to use green methods
- Because of Brexit farmers can receive a higher payout than when in the EU
- Old rules saw average farmer receive about £21,000 in grants
Old farmers are set to be paid up to £100,000 to retire in a bid to freshen the industry with newer workers who are keen on green methods.
Environment Secretary George Eustice believes that some older farmers are hesitant to employ new green methods.
And because of Brexit, farmers can receive a higher payout compared to when Britain was in the EU.
Environment Secretary George Eustice believes that some older farmers are hesitant to employ new green methods
Under EU rules, the average farmer would receive about £21,000 in grants, which Mr Eustice believes encourages some farmers to ‘coast’ and ‘take no risks’, according to the BBC.
He told the Oxford Farming Conference that some older farmers were ‘standing in the way of change’.
He said: ‘A fresh perspective can make a world of difference. New entrants are the lifeblood of any vibrant industry and farming is no exception.’
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), told BBC News: ‘There’s evidence that farmers who wish to leave farming can find it difficult to generate capital to do so.
‘So, a lump sum payment could help contribute to the costs of moving somewhere new or moving into an alternative sector.’
In the UK nearly 40 per cent of farmers are over the age of 65 and according to a survey of 360 farmers, 75 per cent were seriously interested in the retirement scheme.
And because of Brexit, farmers can receive a higher payout compared to when Britain was in the EU
Chief executive of the Tenant Farmers’ Association, George Dunn, showed his support for the scheme if the lump sums were based on the grants they would have received had they stayed farming.
He added that while the payments on their own won’t be enough to encourage farmers to retire, the combination of them with selling livestock may make the scheme more attractive.
Mr Eustice added that he wants to help newer farmers get access to land while helping the older generation retire with dignity.
Under the post-Brexit scheme, grants will be used as an incentive to protect water supplies and capturing carbon in soil and trees.