Bid to support young farmers

A new government scheme aims to tackle youth unemployment and boost the country?s farming sector by leasing plots of state land to young or unemployed farmers and agriculture graduates.

The plan, heralded on Tuesday by Agricultural Development Minister Costas Skandalidis following talks with the country?s 13 regional governors, foresees the allocation of plots ranging in size from 0.4 to 1 hectare in size to farmers, to would be farmers, aged under 35.

A total of 300,000 hectares are reportedly up for grabs. Details about the plots are to be uploaded onto the Internet by the beginning of October and aspiring beneficiaries will need to submit a form with their details online.

Skandalidis stressed on Tuesday that the ownership of the land on offer is undisputed and that the plots do not infringe on forest land and do not form part of the European Union?s Natura network of protected sites.

The minister and the regional governors also discussed the issue of training unemployed farmers.