The Walloon Department of rural spaces and rivers has an agency working on farmland, called the “Department of rural land planning” (DAFOR). One of its activities is to manage land consolidation. It thereby often becomes the owner of land that is not yet allocated to a particular farmer. This is the case for a seven-hectare field in the province of Hainaut in a municipality called Rebaix.
Around the same time, a local farmer who was about to lose his land started engaging with his local CSA group, and the community farmland trust Terre-en-vue, to find another piece of land to farm in the same area.
Terre-en-vue initiated preliminary discussions with DAFOR, which agreed to let the farmer grow on the land before the land is sold. Terre-en-vue is positioned to to buy the land, and thereafter rent it to the farmer.
As a result, abandoned land was put back in farming, and a local conversation took place about the land use, and farming plan so as to meet the needs and expectations of DAFOR, and local consumers.
Read the full case study in our report Supporting access to land for farmers in Europe: Experiences and potential of local authorities, 2017