Agricultural Land Use Report Released

first_imgThe complex topic of protecting farmlands in Nova Scotia was explored in a report released by the Department of Agriculture today, Oct. 25. The Nova Scotia Agricultural Land Review Committee report makes recommendations about how to preserve provincial farmlands. “I am very grateful for the hard work of the review committee, which provided a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities associated with agricultural land use,” said Agriculture Minister John MacDonell. The department has a number of programs to preserve agricultural land, making farming more viable and helping attract new farmers to the industry. “In addition to offering tax incentives on farmland, I’m pleased to say we’ve already acted on some of the report recommendations such as establishing a soil-improvement program to ensure sustainability of farmlands,” said Mr. MacDonell. “We’re also in the process of analyzing our dykelands and we’re working with the Department of Natural Resources to establish ways that Nova Scotians can help shape the future of agricultural land use.” Government formed the review committee in response to requests from groups such as farmers, developers and recreational land users. The committee addressed concerns about whether prime farmland should be preserved, how much land is needed for food production and whether agricultural lands should be kept from non-agriculture developments. “I want to thank the committee members for their thoughtful exploration of a complex issue,” said Ramona Jennex, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “The report is being reviewed by a cross-departmental land protection working group, which will provide analysis to government.” The working group has members from the departments of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Rick Williams, chair of the Nova Scotia Agricultural Land Review Committee said: “We heard from hundreds of Nova Scotians about their views on land use. This project has given us the opportunity to discover what the public seems to have known in its heart of hearts and expressed at each public meeting.” Members of the Nova Scotia Agricultural Land Review Committee included: Rick Williams (chair) of Salt Springs, Pictou Co.; Lise LeBlanc (vice-chair) of Newport, Hants Co.; John Van de Reit from Shubenacadie, Colchester Co.; Bill Swetnam of Centreville, Kings Co.; Patricia Bishop from Port Williams, Kings Co.; and Charles MacDonald, Point Edward, Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The report can be found at read more