Euro-Med Ministerial Conference on Agriculture calls for increased policy support and political focus on young farmers


At the invitation of Italian Minister of Agriculture Maurizio Martina, EU Ministers met in Sicily on 28 November 2014 accompanied by CEJA President Matteo Bartolini in order to discuss agriculture and food security in the Mediterranean region. The conclusions of the conference declared that “the young generation must be the main players of agriculture and fisheries” and that the “involvement and active mobilisation of young generations in agriculture […] are priority challenges” for the Mediterranean region. CEJA implores international and regional organisations, nation states, and the European Union to take the meeting’s recommendations on board.

CEJA President Matteo Bartolini intervened on the opening panel of the high-level conference alongside Minister Maurizio Martina, the director of the FAO Jose Graziano da Silva; European Commission Director General of DG Agriculture and Rural Development Jerzy Plewa; Stefania Giannini, Italian Minister for Education, University and Research; and Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director-General of DG Research and Innovation, on the subject of the importance of young farmers for future growth, food security and rural job creation in the region.

The concluding report of the conference not only sets out a number of recommendations to empower youth in Mediterranean agriculture, but also specifically highlights “the role played by […] CEJA in launching the dialogue among young farmers between the two shores of the Mediterranean”.

Mr Bartolini warmly welcomed the conference conclusions and recommendations, stating that: “It was an honour to be able to address so many high-level participants at this conference, particularly on such a crucial subject as the future of Mediterranean agriculture”. The CEJA President continued: “I am delighted to see that CEJA’s words, including proposals for support for innovation, research linked to farmers and consulting within the hub of a business incubator and increased funds for young entrepreneurs; a call for the establishment of a platform for Mediterranean young farmers’ organisations; and the reinforcement of the importance of research in reshaping the farming sector, were all translated into clear policy recommendations and conclusions.”

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