For the last ten years, the upper secondary schools in Denmark have witnessed a dramatic drop in the number of students choosing to become a farmer. Several factors have affected this decrease, including a lack of encouragement, a public (mis)perception of the lack of possibilities for career advancement and the image of agriculture and food production in the public debate. Consequently, the Danish Agriculture and Food Council reports that more than every third producer/business in the agricultural sector is in need for qualified labour. Meanwhile, the percentage of young people (between 15-24), not in education, training nor employment has increased 63% between 2010 -2017 to 7.0 in the latter year.
The difficulties of obtaining more young people to become farmers is also a challenge at EU-level. This is reflected in the European Commission´s proposal on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) beyond 2020 in which generational renewal is one of nine clear objectives. For this purpose, a proposed 2 per cent should be allocated to each Member States’ efforts to attract young farmers by building on a single strategic plan that will simplify the support for this group.
This project idea, which is planned to be a Strategic Partnership under the Erasmus+ programme Key Action 2 ‘Exchange for good practice’, proposes to set up a European partnership of minimum three European countries involving educational institutions, farmers, agri-businesses and policy-makers with the aim of sharing good practice, finding new ways to attract more farmer students, to change the public narrative on farming as a profession, etc. The project will produce and disseminate its finding as intellectual outputs.
A Strategic Partnership within Key Action 2 of EU’s programme for education, training and youth offer possibilities for European partnerships supporting innovation and knowledge-sharing. The programme funds the costs related to project management and implementation, transnational project meetings, the development of intellectual outputs (academic results), as well as multiplier events aiming to disseminate the projects’ findings to a wider audience. Further, international training and learning activities can be organised.
Deadline for applying for Erasmus+ is March 2020.