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New Brunswick launches agricultural land policy consultation

Open house sessions will be held to get public input

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

New Brunswick’s provincial government is working on developing an agricultural land policy and is reaching out to the public for input.

“Our government believes in a healthy and diverse agricultural sector to support vibrant rural communities and create jobs,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet in a release. “A clear agricultural land policy will help us retain and develop New Brunswick's rich farmland, help farmers be more successful and support the viability of the sector. We also want to ensure we strike the right balance between farmland preservation and non-farm development.”

Anyone interested in providing their opinions can go about it in two ways: through email until Thursday, December 31st, and at one of six open houses being held.

The open houses will take place:

  • Nov. 9, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., department regional office, 824 Route 108, Saint-Andre;

  • Nov. 10, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., department regional office, 1425 King Av., Bathurst;

  • Nov. 12, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., department regional office, 381 Killam Dr., Moncton;

  • Nov. 18, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Fredericton Inn, 1315 Regent St., Fredericton;

  • Nov. 24, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., department regional office, 701 Main St., Sussex;

  • Nov. 26, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Potato Development Centre, 39 Barker Ln., Wicklow.

Officials from the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries will attend the open houses to engage with the public about the land policy.

According to Doucet, only 5% of the province’s land is used for agriculture and it needs to be protected to ensure growth in the economy and employment rate.

Agriculture in New Brunswick accounts for more than $570 million in farm gate receipts and more than $1 billion in agri-food products annually while keeping about 11,000 people employed on a full-time bases.

Data from the 2011 Census of Agriculture about New Brunswick:

  • There were 3,470 farm operators in 2011, 6.1% lower than in 2006
  • New Brunswick accounted for 1.3% of Canada’s 205,730 farms
  • Between 2006 and 2011, acreage of sweet corn decreased from 482 to 388 – a 19.5% gap

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