A not-for-profit organization intends to help farmers bring more land into production
By Diego Flammini
A new project is aimed at bringing more farmland in parts of northern Ontario back into commercial production.
The two-year Private Agricultural Land Assembly Project will contact owners of good agricultural land that currently is not in use and encourage them to make the land available to another farmer through sale or lease.
The Northeast Community Network (NeCN) received $100,000 from the Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) for the project.
The hope is that more Ontario producers will look northward for farming opportunities, said Antoine Vézina, chairman of the NeCN and community development consultant with the TEDC.
“For the last four or five years, all that we’ve been hearing is a lot of people from southern Ontario, and even Western Canada, are very, very interested in coming here and making the move and starting agricultural operations,” he told Northern Ontario Business today. “But their main question is where’s the land?”
In this case, the NeCN is focusing on the Cochrane District, which includes Timmins, Val Rita, Matheson and Smooth Rock Falls.
NeCN knows what land could be available and is looking forward to helping producers find good land to farm.
“It’s not impossible to (find land) on your own, but we’re hoping to make it a lot easier for everyone with the information and results we’ll get from this project,” Vézina told Northern Ontario Business.
Once a list of properties is available, NeCN will host information sessions to inform landowners about potential options. Crown land may also be available for acquisition.
Farms.com has reached out to Vézina for more information about the Private Agricultural Land Assembly Project.