Monday, 18 February 2008

Quebec Agriculture Commission Report Covers a Lot of Territory

A big report on the future of Quebec agriculture and food production came own last week, and the scope of its recommendations can be seen in the wide diversity of the headlines it provoked. The Gazette led with the idea that all Quebec farmers should emulate its cheese producers, and go for high quality, value added products in the future.

The Globe and Mail’s report on business picked the recommendation that Quebec farmers’ groups—particularly the Union des producteurs agricoles—should be shaken up, so that farmers can choose which organization they join.

Grainnews, a farmers’ news service, talked about the recommendation that calls for cutting back on regulations: ‘Quebec farming risks "suffocating:" commission’

Le Devoir said that farmers who are respectful of the environment will get more help in the future if the commission's recommendations are followed.

What didn’t come out--in the headlines at least-- is any recommendations about safe-guarding agricultural land around cities threatened by suburban development. That the topic appears not to be mentioned—although at least one presentation during the year touched on it—is probably a good thing. But it will be something I’ll keep my eyes on. Maintaining the current agricultural zoning is going to be essential in any attempt to keep urban places from over flowing into agricultural land in the future.

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