Taking care together for the farmer

Country: Belgium

Wellbeing of Farmers:  Physical Wellbeing, Mental Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing

Key Challenges: Lack of basic services, Lack or difficulties in accessing health services, Lack of specialist mental healthcare services, Low farm income (market vulnerability), Administrative burden, Legal employment/ fair working conditions, Lack of appreciation/support for female farmers, Pressure from society/negative perceptions

Key Target Groups: Young farmers, Female farmers, Older farmers, Farm Workers (laborers), Farmers facing financial difficulties

Farm Size: Small/Family, Medium, Large

Find Out More

Key contact: Lies Messely

Email: lies.messely@ilvo.vlaanderen.be

Organization: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Relevant Links:



The action plan wellbeing was launched in may 2022 with the prime purpose of improving the wellbeing in the Flemish agri and horticulture. This plan was initiated after research indicated that there existed considerable problems in terms of wellbeing among Flemish farmers.

The plan suggests a three pronged strategy that includes:

  • a) overcoming barriers to aid,
  • b) reinforcing capacities of individual farmers,
  • c) reducing stressors.

In reaching these objectives, a wide range of stakeholders within the Flemish agri and horticulture take up different strategies and engagements.


Improving wellbeing of individual Flemish farmers


The three objectives of this action plan are reached through the following strategies:

  • A) overcoming barriers to aid: install an open talking culture for problems of mental health; optimizing possibilities for support; improving access to aid channels.
  • B) reinforcing individual capacities: developing tools farmers can use themselves, improvind capacities through education and other training facilities, reinforcing tailor made capacities,
  • C) reducing stressors: solving botllnecks in terms of regulation, working on a sustainable perspective and social recognition, reinforcing the financial capacity of farmers, reducing professional risks and improving the work-life balance
Main Outcome of the activity

Improved wellbeing of individual Flemish farmers

Main Practical Recommendations

Inclusion of a wide variety of stakeholders, each tackling different issues related to farmers wellbeing

Key Stakeholders Involved
  • Farmer organizations
  • public administration
  • Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Most Innovative Aspects of the Solution

This action plan departs from a holistic approach. This implies that different components of farmers wellbeing are simultaneously tackled in a systematic and coherent plan