Evaluation of the Age Structure of Farmers in the EU-28 Countries


1Faculty of Economics and Management, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Slovakia

*Corresponding author e-mail: patrik.rovny@gmail.com

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The position of young farmers in the member countries of the European Union differs. According to results of Agricultural Census, there were 10.84 million agricultural holdings within the EU-28 in 2013. Most farms are located in Romania (3.63 million farms), Italy (1.01 million farms) and in Poland (1.43 million farms). On the other hand, the small number of farms is in Luxembourg, Malta, and Estonia. Combining these basic indicators for the number of farms and the utilized agricultural area, the average physical size of each farm in the EU-28 stood at 16.1 hectares in 2013. In 2013, the largest average farm size (in physical terms) was recorded in the Czech Republic, at 133.0 hectares of utilized agricultural area, followed at some distance by the United Kingdom (93.6 hectares) and Slovakia (80.7 hectares). There were six EU Member States that reported their average farm size was less than 10.0 hectares in 2013: Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Romania, Cyprus, and Malta (where the lowest average was recorded at 1.2 hectares per farm). The aim of the paper is to analyze the position of young farmers in the European Union countries. In 2013, only 6.0 % of farm managers in the EU-28 were young farm managers (managers up to 35 years of age). Poland had the highest proportions of young farm managers (12.1 % of all Polish farm managers), while Austria (11.0 %) was the only other EU Member State to report that more than one-tenth of its farm managers were younger than 35. By contrast, in Portugal half (50.1 %) of all farm managers were aged 65 or over, while in Romania, Cyprus, Italy, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Spain at least one-third of all farm managers were aged 65 or over. The paper solves dependency between groups of farmers under 35 years of age and group of farmers above 55 years of age in three analyzed years: 2007, 2010 and 2013. Results of research proved significant differences between the share of young farmers and old farmers in the European Union in evaluated periods. There is a very strong negative correlation between both groups of farmers (between young farmers – under 35 years of age and group of old farmers – above 55 years of age). The strong negative correlation was noticed in all evaluated years.

Keywords: Farms; Young Farmers; Labour Force; Common Agricultural Policy

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