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Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 19 November 1997

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to encourage new entrants into farming; and if he will make a statement. [16329]

The Government appreciate the need to encourage new entrants to farming. The Department funds a number of measures to ensure that young people are aware of career opportunities in agriculture. These are provided through the MAFF contract with ATB-Landbase, the Industry Training Organisation for agriculture and commercial horticulture, through Sector Challenge and through a grant to the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs. We will also participate fully in the discussion due on the European Commission's report "Young Farmers and the Problem of Succession in European Agriculture".