Landcare advice: Getting young people on the land

Unless young people are helped by their family, there is limited opportunity for them to fund their own land holding. Photo: file
Unless young people are helped by their family, there is limited opportunity for them to fund their own land holding. Photo: file

The huge capital required when purchasing a farm, young people simply don’t have. The deposit can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, plus purchase of stock, equipment and infrastructure. Unless young people are helped by family, there is limited opportunity for them to fund their own property.

Corporate agricultural businesses then become the likely purchasers, and sales to big corporations drives up land values. Good news if you are looking to sell, but making things more difficult for young farmers.

We need to establish realistic ways for young people to get a foothold, such as matching young people with farmers looking to sell. Clear rules and an agreement would need to be established between the two. Retiring farmers could receive an income similar to if they had sold and invested in shares or managed funds, etc. Young farmers would need property management skills and a realistic business plan to repay the debt.

Government could help facilitate these agreements, as well as offer further support. In Canada, the Agricultural Financial Service Corporation offer loans to young farmers at concessional interest rates. The English have the Young Farmer Entry Scheme that offers monetary assistance to those wanting to get started on the land.

Upper Lachlan Landcare supports community-based management and protection of natural resources and farms. Contact 0447 242 474 or coordinator@upperlachlanlandcare.org.au