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More farmers working until retirement age

01 May 2019, 02:41 ( 2 Months ago)

DF Report
Photo VisitFinland by Harri Tarvainen.

The average age of farmers was 53 years in 2018, according to the final results of the register of agricultural and horticultural enterprises.

Nearly 30 per cent of farmers on privately owned farms were over 60 years, and only 16 per cent were under 40 years, said a press release of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

“The number of farmers of over 70 years is increasing rapidly. It seems that more and more people continue to run their farms, even at the retirement age”, said Jaana Kyyrä, senior statistician of Luke.

On limited liability farms, the average age of farmers was the lowest, i.e. 48 years. Farmers in charge of farms owned by heirs were the oldest at an average age of 60 years. On family-run farms, the average age of farmers was 52 years.

The trend is the same in other EU states: there are not many young farmers compared with older age groups. In 2016, more than half of all farmers in the EU were over 55 years, while ten per cent were under 40 years. In Portugal, more than half of all farmers have turned 65 years. The highest number of farmers of under 40 years was in Austria, Poland and Slovakia.

The number of farms specified at 47,600

In 2018, the number of agricultural and horticultural enterprises totalled 47,600 farms. During the year, nearly two per cent of farms stopped operating, while the general rate of discontinued operations has been two or three per cent in recent years.

With regard to municipalities, Kouvola had the highest number (920) of agricultural and horticultural enterprises. It was followed by Salo with its 890 farms.