Courtesy of the Government of BC:
More than 2,300 British Columbians responded with their ideas on how the Province can support the Agricultural Land Commission preserve farmland and encourage farming.
Their input will help guide the Ministry of Agriculture as it strengthens the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) and the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).
The consultation took place from Feb. 5 to April 30, 2018, and was led by an independent committee made up of volunteers with diverse agricultural backgrounds and experiences. The committee heard from British Columbians at stakeholder meetings in nine communities, and through written submissions and online consultation.
The input the committee received will help frame its recommendations for an ALR that will serve future generations of British Columbians, and will be provided to Agriculture Minister Lana Popham this summer.
The top three themes identified in responses during the consultation were:
A defensible and defended ALR — identified by 1,203 British Columbians
Food security and B.C.’s agricultural contribution — identified by 1,146 British Columbians
Residential uses in the ALR — identified by 866 British Columbians
People from throughout the province participated in the consultation online, including more than 750 farmers, 115 agriculture specialists and more than 1,400 responses from the general public. There were also 240 responses from people representing an agricultural industry or interest group. South Coast residents completed 900 surveys, while submissions from the Island topped 800, with close to 200 from the Okanagan, and more than 100 from each of the North, Kootenay and Interior regions.