I recently bought a really small portion of land (3000 m2) with my boyfriend, where we grow fruits and vegetables for ourselves. I work for Magház (Seedhouse), a network developing agrobiodiversity and the conservation of landraces. I’m also involved in a project experimenting with dye plants in the village.
Challenges are CAP; access to land; bureaucracy; labour cost; an unsupportive legislation system; consumers’ lack of knowledge about the food system. Instead of land-based subsidies, it would be better to support small-scale and family farmers, crop diversification and other adaptive agricultural mechanisms.
As young farmers we can establish short food chains; raise awareness about the weak points of our current food system and offer solutions for these weak points; developing regional cooperations, sharing best practices and experiences with each other; buying and maintaining vehicles and machines together.
In our region most land is cultivated by larger scale farmers, big monocultures, with huge amounts of fertilisers, pesticides and erosion. I don’t see how this could change but some smaller scale farmers would prefer to develop a more nature friendly and more adaptive system by diversifying crops, establishing shelter belts and planting more fruit trees on the hillsides.