British Columbia changes farmland reserve regulations to promote vertical farming


The BC government is making changes to regulations governing agricultural land reserves (ALRs) that will allow for a more dense form of agriculture.

The changes will enable a process known as “vertical farming” on ALR land, which involves crops grown in vertically stacked layers.

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The process allows growers to maximize space while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said some vertical farming is taking place on some ALR land, but regulatory changes are needed to ensure “clarity” that the technology is permitted.

Popham said the recent floods that devastated British Columbia’s Fraser Valley have also highlighted the need to adopt modern techniques to bolster local agriculture.

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Farmers complain about changes to farmland reserve

Farmers complain about changes to farmland reserve – June 17, 2019

“As we increasingly face the impact of climate change, it is imperative that we continue to strengthen and expand the food systems we have and embrace new innovative practices and technologies,” he said. she stated.

“Our economic plan lays out a vision for the future, and part of that vision is to embrace the role of technology in BC and use that technology to improve our food security and our food economy.

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun hailed the change as a clear signal to the business community that innovation in agriculture is welcome in the province.

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“Historically, it’s been difficult for municipalities to attract large-scale agri-tech companies because there was uncertainty with ALR regulations,” he said.

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“By making these changes, the provincial government can help this industry thrive, making it easier for organizations, farmers and municipalities to collaborate and innovate.”

Saturday’s changes are the latest in a series of provincial government announcements ahead of the release of the 2022 budget on Tuesday.

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