Dr Peter Gittins discusses the future of the British Agriculture industry
Writing for The Conversation, Dr Gittins examines the implications of the UK government's temporary scheme to entice older farmers into retirement to attract younger people into the profession.
In the article, titled ‘British farmers are being offered a lump sum payment to leave the industry – but at what cost to agriculture?’, Dr Gittins uses the real-life example of his family’s farm to discuss the exit scheme being proposed by the UK government.
The scheme offers older farming professionals a chance to apply to receive a lump sum exit payment of up to £100,000 – as long as they either sell their land, rent it out, give it away or plant trees on it. The idea is that as older professionals move to retire, a window is opened up for younger people to take up their mantle.
Though Dr Gittins’ father seems set on remaining on his farm, it is noted that this is not the case for others:
Some farmers will gladly put away their wellies and take the government up on its offer in an increasingly challenging economic environment. Making a farm profitable is difficult for farmers across Europe, with a reported 4 million closing between 2005 and 2015 (with knock on damage to other businesses including agricultural suppliers, machinery repair services and animal feed companies).