Youth in agriculture, our future: a study on public policies for rural youth

Launched by the World Rural Forum, this study compares policies supporting rural youth in different countries, with a focus on the Basque Country in Spain, and provides recommendations for public policies favourable to this public.

Territories, adaptation and international visions. Conducted by the FRM and carried out by the prospective agency Prospektiker, the Study on public policies for rural youth aims to identify and raise awareness of the tools that can contribute to the maintenance and development of young people in rural areas, as well as to improving their quality of life.

The study describes some of the support measures for rural youth implemented in some countries and in Europe: Chile, Australia, Canada, Uruguay and the European Union, with a particular focus on the Basque Country, Spain. It incorporates the views of some of the sector’s key players and makes recommendations on the measures that can most effectively address the problems of ageing and generational unsustainability in family farming.

It also addresses some of the challenges facing young farmers: increasing and maintaining profitability, access to means of production, continuous and quality training. Generational renewal, including the accelerated ageing of the sector and the depopulation and abandonment of rural areas, is also crucial for the agricultural sector.

Among the various recommendations for public policies focused on rural youth, we can highlight the need for an intersectoral and inter-institutional approach, the understanding by institutions of the specificity of the public represented by young farmers, and the promotion of their active participation. Funding, training, institutional support, support for generational renewal and exchange of practices are seen as the foundations for action in favour of rural youth.

This study aims to be a reference document that can be used by different actors, such as the CRAF of Euskadi (Regional Committee of Family Farming of the Basque Country), to share proposals from other experiences and from Basque rural youth themselves.

The study has been financed by the Basque Country Youth Department, as part of its 2021 call for projects for the development of youth programmes and activities, and is published in Spanish and Basque.

The study can be consulted here.