40% of farmers have unused buildings on their farm

According to a survey conducted on Terre-net from February 11 to 14, 2022, more than 40% of farmers report having unused buildings on their farm. Several solutions exist to convert them and generate additional income in the process.

Renovating buildings generates additional income for farmers.Renovating buildings generates additional income for farmers. (©Pixabay)

According to a survey on Terre-net, more than 40% of farms have unused buildings and 17.6% of respondents say they can convert them. So how do you value an unused building? It all depends on its condition and its location, for example…

Transform the building into a home or business space

A building with good access, water and electricity can be converted into a residence or a commercial building: lodgings, guest rooms, reception hall, direct sales areas… the ideas are many, but theinvestment is often heavy and time-consuming† However, depending on the location and quality of the project, this solution can be profitable and generate significant additional revenue.

But beware, the change of use from an agricultural building to accommodation or a building that welcomes the public, entails urban planning restrictions. Before you do anything, you should: ensure that the zoning change of an agricultural building is permitted by the local urban plan (ENJOY). In agricultural and natural zones, buildings must be designated on the zoning plan that can change their use.

In addition, these diversification possibilities should not jeopardize agricultural activity or the landscape quality of the site. For a project of zoning change, it is therefore advisable to inquire at the town hall about its feasibility.

If its implementation is not allowed by the current PLU, it can possibly be changed, if the municipality agrees. The project can also be considered in the context of a PLU development or a development procedure initiated for other reasons by the town hall.

If the zoning change project does not change the appearance or the load-bearing structures of the building, only a prior declaration is required. Otherwise a building permit is required.

Vehicle Storage

Caravans, mobile homes, boats… The monitoring or wintering private vehicles may relate to you.

There’s no big transformation for that, it’s enough to just have a flat and accessible building for the vehicles in question. On the administrative side, a private car storage insurance is necessary. Collector car, car, trailer, boat, camper are generally included in this insurance.

Secure access to your building is a plus that will reassure tenants and insurance companies alike.

To attract interested people to your farm, there are several solutions: local word of mouth, social networks, sales platforms such as Le bon coin, but also platforms specialized in storage such as that connects farmers and individuals. †

Rental agreements are generally for a period of 6 or 12 months. Count between 400 and 500 euros per year per rental depending on the vehicle being stored (e.g. a caravan takes up less space than a motorhome and therefore costs less)

This solution can also be of interest to professionals in different sectors of activity: car dealers and resellers who have vehicles in stock, rental companies and construction companies that want to store their construction vehicles.

Become a private parcel forwarding company

The principle : received large packages for individuals around and keep them until they are redistributed to the owners. This does not require a large building, 50 m² may be sufficient, but this the room must be closed and secured under alarm for packet security. you must have one unloading machine equipped with pallet truck type telescopic car, forklift truck or front car.

The easiest is to working with platforms such as Agrikolis, which are partners of several e-commerce sites such as Cdiscount. The start-up was founded 2 years ago and now has 280 relay companies and is still looking for development.

This complementary activity above all requires time. It is indeed necessary to be able to deliver once or twice a week and to guarantee time slots for the collection of parcels by customers. Agrikolis offers the farmer a compensation of approximately 5 euros per package received and delivered.

“This additional activity could enable farmers to earn an average of 500 euros per month, depending on the number of packages stored, and to promote their farm’s products,” the founders said.

This private service also offers farmers the opportunity to discuss the profession.

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