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Cultivating the young generation of farmers with farmland policy implications


The aging problem among agricultural farmers is severe in the Asian and Pacific region. In Japan, Korea and Taiwan, for instance, the ratio of the aged farmers to the total farm household population are 34.3%, 31.8% and 31.2%, respectively in 2010. In Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, aging farmers are increasing while those of young farmers are decreasing. Aging farmers have much difficulty in finding successors for their farming business. 

There are many reasons why the younger generation does not to want to engage themselves in farming. Some of these reasons include low income, poor working conditions, inferior children’s education environment and poor healthcare system in the rural areas. But one of the main difficulties of the young generation’s entry into farming involves its close relations to the farmlands.

Farmlands are prerequisites for agriculture and are considered farming symbols. In wide and long-term perspectives, there is no doubt that agriculture depends on land, and that this distinguishes the sector from most other kinds of businesses. But the problem is the price of farmland is too expensive for the young beginners and finding the appropriate leased farmland is also very difficult especially those who want to start farming with leased farmland. These are serious bottlenecks to the next generation who want to farm and to increase farm size. 

This participatory international workshop focused on the sharing of experiences of different Asian countries regarding farmland policies in relation to the challenges of encouraging the young generation of farmers against the aging problems in the rural areas.   

Major findings and recommendations:

  • Study how governments in Asian countries developed models to enhance farmland bank access and make this as a guide for policymaking;
  • Compile and document the experiences of Malaysia’s Young Entrepreneurs through their “Blue Ocean Strategy” and Thailand’s “New Development Program” and share this with the rest of the Asian neighbors;
  • Incorporate the concept of agricultural entrepreneurship in school curriculums so that the young generation can have a deep appreciation of farming;
  • Develop ways to optimize small pieces of land into productive forms and encourage use of high yielding, early maturing and drought and flood tolerant plant varieties;
  • Study how the governments of other countries allocated areas for agri farmlands and provided subsidies for young farmers to encourage them to engage in farming;
  • Strengthen farmers cooperatives and associations through business and marketing education; and
  • Encourage the conduct of meetings for young farmers so that they can communicate with each other and develop their own markets and networks.

Collection of relevant agricultural policy information and its practical use
    
Held in Serdang, Selangor, 26-28 May, 2015
No. of participating countries: 10 (Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam)
No. of papers presented: 9
No. of participants: 14 speakers from 10 countries and 10 local participants
Co-organizer: Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI)

List of papers

Resource and country papers

1.    Farmland access policies for young generation of farmers
    -    Sen-Tiyan Lin
2.    The aging of agriculture and the income instability of young farmers in Korea
    -    Tae-Ho Lee
3.    Land concentration and land market in Japan: an international perspective
    -    Shinsaku Nakajima
4.    Policy on land farms in Malaysia for young agropreneurs through Blue Ocean strategy
    -    Mohd Arif Bin Adenan
5.    Farmland bank in Korea
    -    Kyung-An Yim
6.    Farmland policy for young generation in Myanmar: purchasing and leasing
    -    Mar Mar Kyu
7.    Family farming and farmland policy in Vietnam: current situation and perspective
    -    Nguyen Dang Minh Chanh
8.    Farmland policy and financing program for young generation in the Philippines
    -    Marilyn Elauria
9.    MARDI facilities for young generation of entrepreneurs
    -    Kairul Asfamawi Khulidin
10.    Farmland  policy in Indonesia for young generation
    -    Syahyuti
11.    Succession of farmlands to non-family successors: options for the young generation of farmers
    -    Tasuku Nagatani
12.    New farmer development in agricultural land reform in Thailand
    -    Winai Mekdum
13.    Needs and potential for rural youth development in Lao PDR
    -    Soudchay Nhouyvanisvong
14.    The restructuring policy of agro-manpower and farmland in Taiwan
    -    Chen-Te Huang

For further information, contact Dr. Chan-Ik Chun, FFTC agricultural economist

A young student in Korea participates in a school agricultural fair. One of the major recommendations of this workshop is to incorporate the concept of agricultural entrepreneurship in school curriculums so that the young generation can have a deep appreciation of farming. 

On the third day of the workshop, the participants visited the KMS Agronomi SDN BHD, a Malaysian agricultural company owned a managed by a group of young entrepreneurs in Kampong Jenjarom, Selangor, Malaysia. The company produces rock melons using modern agricultural technologies introduced by MARDI.

Workshop participants held in Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia were composed of 14 speakers from 10 countries and 10 local participants. Topics ranged from farmland access policy for young farmers  to farmland banks, financing and agro-manpower.

FFTC Director Dr. Yu-Tsai Huang and some workshop participants listen to the spokesperson of Malaysia Agro Exposition Park in Serdang, Selangor, where an exposure trip transpired a day after the workshop proper. The park boasts of a wide collection of flowers and other ornamental plants. It consists of eight agro showgrounds maintained using state-of-the-art agricultural technologies.

The workshop participants tour the greenhouses at the KMS Agronomi company where rock melon seedlings and other horticultural crops are grown.


 


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