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"Providing new farmland for organic farmers"

The newly established OIKOPOLIS foundation wants a dialog: on the 20th and 21st of January, the French expert for land purchases René Becker was invited by the members of the foundation to portray in a public presentation as well as a closed workshop, how “Terre de Liens” successfully accesses new territories in the neighbouring country – for the good of organic agriculture and hence for the purpose of the common good.

In order to escape plunging interest rates on building areas, investors push up prices, and this not only in Luxembourg. But real estate speculation is not the only reason that the maintenance or even the expansion of agricultural land is hindered. Many family businesses become the victim of an outdated generation succession. Many times, the heir taking over the farm needs to pay out his siblings, which endangers the liquidity of the business even more than in times of elevated competition due to industrialised food production already given. In case the farmland is split between the heirs and needs to be leased back, the agricultural activity is also not profitable.

On the other hand, the growing awareness of sustainability motivates more people in getting active in organic agriculture: educated farming scientists, engaged lateral entrants or whole teams that want to jointly lead an organic farm. Due to the lack of available land, a huge amount of motivation cannot be translated into action. The goal of the OIKOPOLIS foundation is to change this, - and hence “Terre de Liens” serves as a role model.

20200120 OIKO Dialog Rene Becker2

The model shows: it works!


In only ten years, TdL grew out of an association founded in 2003 with the same name to become a network that is active in the whole Hexagon: three years later, the corporation “La Foncière” followed the association and now collects solidary investments as a holding company. Since 2013, a non-profit foundation exists in order to facilitate financial donations from private or institutional investors in terms of taxes.

With the fund money consisting of donations, shares in external companies and estates, TdL purchases agricultural businesses including the main building and farm, the field and meadow or the vineyard. The owners submit their objects to the “saviours” and a professional audit calculates the present and future value of the farm. Special requests of the previous owners are respected; the only condition that TdL draws to the leasing of the agricultural land is that it must be managed organically or bio-dynamically. Apart from that, each party interested in taking over the farm benefits from the same opportunities – no matter if lateral entrant or farmers kid, sectoral expert or newbie. With this model, 207 farms have already been purchased and 5.500-Hectare effective area have been saved until end of 2019.

Purchasing land is expensive…


”We want to make the land available”, says René Becker, “and that for the long term”. This is why the leasing contracts are not only set up at moderate prices, but also for a minimum period of seven years. Even if the new business owners decide to reorient themselves after that time, the territory is remains available for organic agricultural purposes – only a new tenant is located. This is not even necessary since more people are interested in starting or taking over an organic farm through TdL than there is available land. This work is possible through the stable financial base of “La Foncière” of currently 80 Mio EUR and the equity capital of 1.9 Mio EUR of the foundation.

The Luxembourgish way – OIKOPOLIS foundation


The OIKOPOLIS foundation can keep pace at least with the capital, which currently amounts to a net worth of 2.24 Mio EUR. Nevertheless, in order to keep up with TdL in terms of purchased land, donations are not only welcome, but also necessary, since it will not be cheap to escape the Luxembourgish real estate prices.

In the meantime, OIKOPOLIS foundation dedicates its resources to other aspects of its mission. The goal is to support a future-oriented agriculture and food culture – through the development of new legal structures and types of ownership for the use of agricultural land, but also through research, consulting and education in the field of sustainable agriculture including ecological seed production.

The optimisation of organic and biodynamic methods, as well as far-reaching reports about environmental and ecological preservation and education are aspects of the self-imposed mission by the OIKOPOLIS foundation – for the purpose of the common good.

Everybody who wants to financially support the work or wants to contribute with new ideas is very welcome.

More information


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