A wider uptake of share farming could enable thousands of young people to get their first foot on the farming ladder according to the CLA.
The CLA says that if just a quarter of the country’s farmers aged over 65 entered in to a share farming agreement it would allow more than 3,000 new entrants to start working the land.
Launching its major new drive to encourage share farming at today’s Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate, CLA President Henry Robison said: “This is a simple solution to one of the industry’s most pressing problems – that of an ageing profile.
“Share farming not only offers older farmers a way of reducing their workload while maintaining an income but also gives new entrants an increasingly rare opportunity to start a career in agriculture.”
Share farming differs from traditional contract farming in so far as both parties share the risk and the profits on a pre-agreed percentage. The existing farmer simply provides a proportion of his farmland for the partner to work.
Mr Robinson added: “The problem with traditional farming arrangement is that a farmer is either in or out. Share farming provides a middle ground whereby an ageing farmer, who cannot afford to retire, can start to wind-down without having to worry about paying the bills.
“A share farming agreement really is very straightforward and we have produced an easy-to-use advisory handbook that guides farmers through all the basics they need to get up and running including a template agreement.”
To download a copy of the CLA’s new share farming policy - An option for enterprising farmers – which contains several useful farmer case studies, please click here.