As some of you have already learned by reading other threads, there is a lot of bureaucracy involved in farming. Unfortunately I can not deny this, but there are reasons for all these seemingly exaggerated rules.

As a farmer you can get a lot of fiscal benefits and grants, which means that people are motivated to fake it. There was just a scandal in Sicily and Lombardy where the mafia received a lot of money presenting themselves as farmers, and stealing land from real farmers to get EU money. So, it’s important to have a system in place where the real farmers aren’t punished because of these bad apples.

As we didn’t came here with bags of money one of the first things we did was inform ourselves what the possibilities were for starting farmers. We were lucky ! There was just a new round of grants for starting farmers younger than 40, which I was at the time.

So, full of optimism we started the procedures. As we underestimated the physical efforts associated with our farm activity, we certainly had a very naïve view on the application process. I will not bore you with details, but even after having obtained a positive result I said to myself “never again!”

There is so much uncertainty involved in the process, you have to submit triple proof of everything, nobody seems to be a 100% sure about the way things have to be done, and even when you’re on the “good list” there’s a chance you’re too low on it and the money is finished. So, never count on receiving the grant you apply for!

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