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Analysis of the supportive environment of new entrants in farming
Agriculture contributes significantly to important sustainable development goals, both positively (e.g., zero hunger) and negatively (e.g. life on land). The innovations (both organizational and technological) to improve these contributions exist, but their diffusion tends to be too slow in light of the urgency of taking global action. Moreover, the number of people entering into farming - new entrants - decreases continuously. This holds true all across Europe. New entrants are defined as anyone who starts a new farm business or becomes involved in an existing farm business. They comprise a wide range of ages, agricultural experience and resource access. In general, new entrants consist of newcomers (completely de novo) and successors (stepping into an existing family farm) and can enter farming at any stage in their working lives. However, depending on individual and regional circumstances, new entrants face considerable challenges in entering the farming sector, particularly access to land, capital, labour, markets and housing, but also business skills and knowledge development on both applied and theoretical levels, as well as the social and supportive networks that enable access to these resources. Sustaining a cohort of new entrants is crucial to the vitality, resilience and competitiveness of the agricultural sector and rural regions in Europe. New entrants bring with them innovation and entrepreneurialism, as well as practical and theoretical skills and networks developed on farms, in education institutions and through off-farm employment. The aim of this research proposal is to investigate how the institutional context of new entrants contributes to the adoption of innovations. An initial and comparative analysis in Flanders and Slovenia will be an important stepping stone to investigate these dynamics across Europe in the framework of a Horizon Europe research project or Innovative Training Network.
Date:1 Oct 2020 → Today
Keywords:New entrants, farming, innovation, resilience, knowledge systems
Disciplines:Agriculture, land and farm management not elsewhere classified, Innovation and technology management