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International ministerial conference on the importance of young farmers for the future of agriculture

On Friday, 24 August, one day before the opening of the 56th International Fair of Agriculture and Food (AGRA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food is hosting an international ministerial conference in Maribor entitled 'Rural Areas and Agriculture as an Opportunity for Young People'. 

The Ministry is inviting agriculture ministers of EU Member States, candidate countries and potential candidates for accession to the EU to the conference. In addition to ministers, representatives of young farmers from individual countries and the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) are also invited to the conference. 


The conference will focus on the importance of young farmers and generational renewal for the future of European agriculture and the provision of food security. As in the majority of developed countries around the world, the ageing of the rural population is also a feature of European agriculture. According to Eurostat, only 5.6 per cent of all European farms are managed by young farmers under the age of 35, while 31 per cent of all farmers are older than 65 years. Young farmers usually have a higher level of education than their older colleagues, are more business-oriented and motivated to introduce new technologies and production, organisational and marketing changes and innovations. On the other hand, they face numerous challenges in their work and life in rural areas, including difficulties in acquiring land and capital.


During the discussion, the ministers will exchange views about how to help young people in the countryside to make their environment friendlier, so that more young people decide to live in rural areas and work as farmers, and how to create a more stimulating environment for young rural women. The discussion will also address digitalisation in agriculture. The application of new information tools and technologies, databases and innovations is said to lead to greater competitiveness, better management and a reduction of administrative burdens. The ministers will exchange experience about the transfer of information technologies to agriculture and the role young farmers play in this. 


At the end of the ministerial conference, the ministers are expected to adopt a joint declaration. 

 

Invitation to press conference

 

On this occasion, we invite media representatives to a press conference held on Friday, 24 August at 12:30, at Hotel City in Maribor (City Hall C). 


Speakers at the press conference: 

  • mag. Dejan Židan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food;
  • Jannes Maes, President of the European Council of Young Farmers; 
  • Rok Damijan, President of the Slovenian Rural Youth Association.