An agricultural specialist at the UK200Group of independent accountancy and lawyer firms has welcomed a potential financial boost for young farmers arising from Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms.
The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will this month start issuing on how new and young farmers could qualify for new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements, along with details of top-up payment worth up to 25 per cent of the average value of entitlements for young farmers.
Up to three per cent of the total BPS budget has been earmarked to create entitlements for new farmers and young farmers, if they currently have more land than entitlements.
The Rural Payments Agency will allocate the entitlements according to the amount of eligible land farmers declare on their 2015 Basic Payment Scheme application and their existing entitlements.
A further two per cent of the BPS budget will be fund extra money for young farmers who have taken control of their farm in the last five years.
John Thame, who leads the agriculture and property team at Banbury and Wellingborough-based Ellacotts LLP, and who chairs the UK200Group’s agriculture special interest group, said: “In any business, the early years can be particularly challenging so the extra CAP support offered to new and young farmers at this crucial stage is welcome.
“It is vital to the future of UK agriculture that it attracts new generations of talented, entrepreneurial people who can see the opportunities farming offers as a long-term career, so this approach is definitely a step in the right direction.
“Having access to the right advice can also make a significant difference to new and developing farm businesses, so working with professional advisers experienced in the agricultural sector is a sensible step to help maximise the value of CAP payments and the efficiency of wider farm finances.”