Access to Land: Markets, Policies and Initiatives

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Acquiring access to land is an important issue for new entrants into farming. Traditionally, the succession of farms is within the family; market transactions are geared towards the enlargement of running farms. Policies and institutions have been built to facilitate this process. Current challenges of climate change, resource scarcity, biodiversity and equity, as are analysed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Resource Panel (IRP), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reporting activities, make it so that there is a need to find alternatives for the current developments in farming, which is a process of up (scale enlargement) or out (stop farming). For these alternatives, new types of farmers who face the issue of access to land are needed. Based on FADN data and EUROSTAT data, current developments in the European farming sector were analysed to understand the impact of the process of modernisation on farmland markets and the complexities of access to land for new entrants. Whether these data may point to opportunities for alternative farming methods and the role of the direct payments of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy were analysed. Policies and consequences are discussed. It is concluded that, whereas alternative farming models are promoted at the level of policy aims, this is not performed at the policy guidance level of land markets. Alternatives outside traditional institutions face the issue of scaling up to create impact. The Common Agricultural Policy is, in many ways, more of an obstacle than it is a promoter of providing access to land for new farmers. New policies are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5097
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • access to land
  • agricultural innovation
  • Common Agricultural Policy
  • rural regeneration
  • land market


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