I grew up in an olive tree and sheep farm in the South of Spain where my family produce and sell organic olive oil under agroecological management. Nowadays, I am PhD student in agroforestry systems, and I farm with my family during my free time. I am mainly interested in agroforestry systems, ecosystem services, rural depopulation and preserving traditional agricultural landscapes in mountainous areas.
Challenges young farmers face include unfair competition by other farmers and farming enterprises and uncertainty associated with traditional farming. In 15 years, I think farming will be missing from my region. Farming land will be covered by scrub with the associated recurrent forest fires.
If policy makers and society in general finally understand that local and organic agriculture is essential to face humanity’s main challenges, maybe that could push up the opportunities for young farmers. Policy needs to change – facilitating access to credit and land, reducing regulatory burdens and revaluing farmers’ role in the ecosystem and provision for human beings’ welfare.
Cooperation will be key to make visible the needs of young farmers and also essential to reduce production costs.