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Retired Farmers and New Land Users: How Relations to Land and People Influence Farmers' Land Transfer Decisions

Grubbstrom, Ann; Eriksson, Camilla


Access to land is a key challenge for prospective farmers in Europe. Retiring family farmers who lack a successor resort to leasing or selling their land, but the decision has implications for the community and the rural landscape for generations to come. It is thus crucial to know more about values and decisions linked to keeping, leasing or selling land, and the opportunities these provide for young farmers seeking to establish a business. It is also important to consider the choice of lessee/buyer and the relationship between the former farmer and lessee/buyer. This study is based on interviews with retired farmers, young farmers and farm advisors in Sweden. The results revealed that the lessee/buyer tends to be carefully chosen by the outgoing farmer and that non-monetary values and motivations, such as social interaction and concern for the environment, the rural community and the agricultural landscape are important. In some cases, the relationship between landowner/former farmer and lessee/buyer resembled family ties. The decision to lease/sell sometimes appeared to be a relief for the retiring farmer. For some lessees/buyers a close relationship with the former farmer provided valuable mentorship, while others valued the greater degree of freedom in leasing/buying compared with inheritance.

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Sociologia Ruralis
2018, Volym: 58, nummer: 4, sidor: 707-725
Utgivare: WILEY

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