__land grab conference in quebec

The Croque-Saisons Family Farm in Val St. Francois in the Eastern Townships of Quebec is the kind of enterprise to be protected for future farmers and kept out of the hands of agribusinesses and institutional investors.

Photo Credit: Isabelle Joncas Land grab conference in Quebec

Land grabs and the speculation in land acquisitions are a growing reality globally. These trends were the focus of a one-day

conference near Montreal yesterday looking into the evolution and effect on farmers in the province of Quebec. The event brought together the David Suzuki Foundation, the Union of Quebec Agricultural Producers and Equiterre, to name a few of the participants.

Isabelle Joncas is an agronomist with Equiterre, a citizen’s group that grew out of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro . She says it is better for the people of Quebec to have 30,000 farmers in the province than 10,000 big corporations owning our land, as is the case in many places around the world.

These so-called land grabs are a global concern. Countries such as China, India and Saudi Arabia have purchased large areas of land in Argentina, Indonesia, Australia and across the African continent. Canadian companies have been investing in land in foreign countries as well.

The 2008 global food crisis and the U. S. economic meltdown created a renewed interest in land. In 2004 in Quebec, land was $5,000 Cdn, per hectare; now it is $12,000. In the last five years more farmland has been purchased by investors with the value of transactions soaring, but the value of land for farmers has not increased at the same pace. The changes however, make it very difficult for young farmers to get a foothold, or expand their holdings.

The one-day conference was an opportunity to examine the challenges and propose solutions. Joncas says the emerging effects of climate change will put pressure on northern regions to expand and extend the farming areas as well as the season where possible.

Quebec, it was suggested, should be strengthening the laws protecting green zones, particularly in the areas surrounding cities. Limiting purchases to a maximum of 100 hectares per person per year, except in transfers of farmland between generations in the same family, was another suggestion, as is the practice in Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.

These are two of the provinces actively protecting their interests. Tiny, picturesque, Prince Edward Island, has limits on the amount of ocean-front acreage people who aren’t residents of the province can buy.

Farmland in Saskatchewan rose the most in value according to Farm Credit Canada‘s most recent report. It showed average farmland values increased by 14.3 per cent in 2014, following a 22.1 per cent increase in 2013.

While Saskatchewan has had laws restricting foreign investors from purchasing farmland it also recently restricted institutional investors, such as pension plans and administrators of pension fund assets and trusts from purchasing land.

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines. Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

RCInet. ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet. ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.

Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.

RCInet. ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.

In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.

Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.

Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.

Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.

Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.

Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.

Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.

Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.

Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International forums is prohibited.

All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.

Radio Canada International reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.

Radio Canada International reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.

By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.

Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Name *

Email *



characters available

Current ye@r *

Leave this field empty

« Terrorism is killing innocent civilians in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Turkey, Tunisia, France and causing millions of refugees. RCI is opening its pages so you can express solidarity with the victims. » Most recent topics