Following are key facts about the age of European farmers, how much they earn and what they produce.
” Six per cent of farmers are aged less than 35 in the 27 member countries of the European Union.
” Almost half of EU farmers are more than 55, 34 per cent of them are more than 65. Over- 55 farmers outnumber under- 35 farmers by nine to one.
” Latest available data showed 786,000 Spaniards worked in farming in 2009, down from 979,000 in 2004.
” Under current CAP rural development rules, member states and the EU can jointly finance payments of up to 55,000 euros for qualified farmers under the age of 40 over the first five years after they set up business.
” The commission will propose raising the maximum payment for young farmers to 70,000 euros as part of its plans to reform the CAP from 2014, according to draft proposals due on Oct. 12.
” Not all young European farmers have access to this installation aid, which is a voluntary measure. Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, many German regions and Wales have opted out from the beginning, while Ireland and Latvia have scrapped the measure due to the financial crisis.
” The average annual income for EU farmers is less than 12,000 euros per year, or 34 per cent less than for urban workers.
” Total farm income in Spain fell by 6.2 per cent between 2004 and 2009, the latest year for which figures are available. It has been declining steadily since 2003.
” Spanish farmers can grow about three tonnes of grain per hectare of dryland, compared with eight to nine tonnes in more fertile parts of Europe and the Black Sea basin.
” Agriculture in general accounts for 2.8 per cent of Spain s economy.
” Spanish agricultural output accounts for 12.5 per cent of that produced in the EU, ranking it third in the bloc after France and Italy.