The Association of Young Farmers has demanded immediate government action to prevent a crisis within the field. In response, Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir has established a working group to propose possible solutions.
Looming bankruptcies and abandoned farms
Yesterday, the Association of Young Farmers (i.e. Samtök ungra bænda) convened a well-attended protest meeting in Kópavogur to address the critical situation within Icelandic agriculture.
Steinþór Logi Arnarsson, Chairman of the Association, called on the government to take immediate action to avert looming bankruptcies and a decline in the farming community.
Minister responds with working group
In an interview with RÚV, the Minister acknowledged the difficult nature of the situation: “This is a profound problem, to some extent, and we see that current conditions may not be optimal,” Svandís remarked, referring, among other things, to livestock agreements. She also noted that the most pressing problems facing young farmers were high interest rates and inflation.
Svandís announced that she had appointed a working group of three ministry directors to analyse the problem and deliver recommendations in the coming weeks. She also stated that there was a consensus on the issue within the government. “There are incredible opportunities within Icelandic agriculture,” she observed. “We have a lot of water, we have a lot of land, and we have a lot of well-educated and industrious people. I want to participate in instilling courage and optimism in young farmers.”