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It’s certainly not a surprise that we need a very healthy agricultural sector in our country in order to maintain a high degree of security, health among our population and availability of important diet staples. The lack of any one of these things could result in tremendously negative outcomes for our populous, so it’s important to support this sector. Our landscape relies heavily upon our stewardship of it, not only for these reasons, but for the very social fabric of the countryside and those farming communities.
We face an existential crisis that transcends generations among this community. Those from the newer generations do not wish to work out in the fields, or on their farms, and instead are moving into urban areas. This has been a problem for France now for nearly a decade, and appears it will persist for some time as well. Many initiatives that Fonda Terra supports, such as the Energy Waste program, can help change this for the better. Using our community of farmers as a forward thinking group, which will hopefully result in many more leaps forward in the years to come. New technologies like anerobic digestion, which turns waste from farming into fuel, offers new engineering challenges that we hope will pull talented individuals from the cities and back into our countrysides.
The Rural Action Program
There is a shortage of housing in many rural areas that proves affordable for people that live there. This can cause huge consequences that are difficult to quantify, but young people in particular almost always will leave the area to seek more affordable housing, which typically means apartment dwellings in more urban areas. This has led to huge reductions in the available workforce, nearly no new expertise being created for farm hands and laborers, as well as farm owners, and a lack of skilled workers in rural towns. A lack of workers has many results, but the most severe is the reduction of health care, food services, communication services, and transportation for rural workers. Its our hope that an affordable housing initiative, called the “Rural Action” program will be launched to help combat this.
This initiative centers around encouraging local businesses, property owners, and developers to enter into these areas to build affordable housing and help maintain the area and provide them the workers they need. This is not an easy task, but with three core objectives: connection consumers with rural issues, improving sustainability of farming communities and provide healthcare for these areas, they hope to achieve positive growth in workforce and skilled laborers in the rural countryside. This is something France desperately needs in order to achieve long term health and future security.
The Goal of Our Rural Outreach
There are several major goals we hope to achieve from the rural outreach program. Reducing five key areas are what is most important, and will identify the success of this initiative. Dealing with: rural isolation, low incomes from farming, declining population in rural communities, lack of training access, and healthcare. These tasks require top down solutions from our government and wide scale support in order to properly address them. What this means is that our leaders will need to take on this effort at the most basic level, and promote it directly with proper funding, motivation based incentives, and proper investment into our rural communities.
These things are never going to be easy to achieve, and they will require some serious commitment on the part of our leaders and in these communities themselves. Yet, we believe it’s possible for them to achieve solid outcomes and maintain a high standard, if proper commitment is given. Rural communities are culturally strong, and motivated to stick together. For these reasons we feel it’s clear that this is achievable.