Belgian farmland prices rose by more than 10 percent last year, the largest increase in half a decade, according to the Notary Federation’s Agricultural Barometer (FEDNOT).
As a result, family farmers are suffering.
Anna Verhov, a researcher at the Institute of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Research, said: “A farmer can not pay more than ,000 45,000 per hectare of land.
“They are not doing anything illegal under the current rules, but the price is so high that the agricultural price difference in that land is huge. This access to land makes it one of the biggest barriers to agriculture.
Fedenot’s agricultural barometer has been monitoring farmland prices in Belgium since 2018, which includes fields, but not forests or gardens.
In the first half of 2021, the average price per hectare of farmland in Belgium was, 53,760.
Grone Cring, the largest umbrella organization in Flemish’s agricultural and horticultural sector, says access to farmland has been a major concern for years.
They say that over the past few years, all sorts of new players have entered the market, increasing the price and taking farmland from farmers instead of keeping it for other purposes, such as horses or gardens.
“Farmland is rising again, and land access for young farmers is once again declining. The link to the reality of agriculture has long been lost, ”said Brun Van Heck, chairman of Groning Cring.
Open VD and Borenbonde are committing at least some wrongdoing against the Flemish government, as the purchase of their land is costing someone else.
The Nature and Forest Agency (NB) The Flemish Information Center for Agriculture and Vegetables (VILT) said it has purchased another 523 hectares in 1,090 hectares of land and Flem Land Agency (VMM) by 2020.
These cover one-third of the floor area found in ANB and then two-thirds of VMM.
Flemish Public Services together bought 684 hectares of farmland for about 74 million euros.
Asked by Flanders’ Minister of Environment, Zuhal Demir (NVA), Stephen Connections said this is contributing to inflation.
“Farmland is already scarce, and then the government itself will push up the price,” he told Heet Bellan van Limburg.
Boronbond Sonja de Baker called his purchasing policy “aggressive.”
“The farmland in Flanders is very small, and it is under a lot of pressure as for the rest of the initiative,” said De Baker.
On top of that, in recent years, the ANB has been pursuing a very aggressive procurement policy, which has resulted in the expansion of farmland for forestry, the bidding for Flemim Parks, and all kinds of compensation. By doing so, the Flemish government itself will increase the value of farmland to the point where it is impossible for farmers to make a profit.
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Definition: The Flemish government itself is partially responsible for this phenomenon through its very aggressive agricultural procurement policy.
There are strong regional differences regarding inflation. In the first half of 2021, inflation was 10.7 percent in Flanders and 8 percent in Wallonia. After inflation between 2016 and 2012, the average price rose by 27.2 percent in Flanders and 21 percent in Walnut.
This means that the average price of a hectare of farmland in Flanders is 63,082 and Wal 37,283.
“The price gap between Flanders and Wollonia is widening. Today, an average of € 25,800 per hectare of farmland in Flanders is paying off, ”said FEDNOT.
Even within states, there are differences between states, Vilti reports.
West-Flander and Antwerp are the most expensive provinces, with farmland per hectare, 73,304 and, 5 72,522, respectively, and the highest price increase in Flemish Brabant.
Land in Legion in Wollonia is 33,461 euros per hectare (an increase of 10.1 per cent over five years) and Wallon Brabant per hectare (47,705 per hectare) (25 per cent increase in the same period).
“Agricultural land is a very limited market with a big price difference in one large district and one municipality,” Notaris.com’s spokesman Bart van Optal told Vilti.
“Non-leased land, for example, is worth more than leased land where the lease is longer. Moreover, the location, the environment, the soil structure, and the quality of the land also play a role.