Older farmers to be paid £100k to retire – but why?

The government has launched an initiative that would pay farmers looking to leave the sector, especially if they do not wish to follow new and more sustainable ways of farming

Big Zero Report 2022

Older farmers could be paid up to £100,000 to retire in a bid to bring younger, greener farmers into the industry.

The government has launched an initiative that would pay between £50,000 and £100,000 to farmers looking to exit the sector, particularly if they do not wish to follow new and greener ways of farming.

This follows the announcement of the ‘Agricultural Transition Plan’ last year, looking to reward farmers for being more sustainable.

Farmers were also urged to become more sustainable if they are to continue working, which was again highlighted by the piloted ‘Sustainable Farming Incentive’ in March of this year.

Environment Secretary George Eustace said: “We need to address the twin challenges of helping new entrants fulfil their dream and gain access to land, while also helping an older generation retire with dignity.”

The government is also looking to phase out direct payments based on how much land a farmer owns over the next seven years, which is the current system under the Basic Payments Scheme.

Tom Bradshaw, Vice President at the National Farmers Union, said: “As our agricultural support is overhauled, farm businesses across the country will be making life-changing decisions about the future of their farm or tenancy.

“We want to see a fair transition which allows farmers who are considering leaving the industry to have sufficient time and information to make those significant decisions.

“We must also recognise the personal nature of this decision and how no two farm businesses are the same, meaning each set of circumstances for a farmer considering a lump sum exit payment will be truly unique. We will now be consulting with our members extensively to understand their views on these proposals.”

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