40% of Gatineau is zoned farmland
Council approves $250,000 plan for Gatineau’s farming industry
City council adopted a plan covering the development and activities within the agricultural zone (PDZAA), a first of its kind, on December 11. The plan budgets $250,000 over five years (2019-2023) and aims to help individuals and organizations within Gatineau’s agricultural sector.
The plan includes steps to make the agricultural sector more attractive for entrepreneurs and for successive farm-families. The program was tailored to diversify the types and spin-offs of agriculture and agri-food efforts within the territory. The plan contains measures to multiply citizens’ agricultural experiences.
Surtax on lots in agricultural zone
The PDZAA favours farming businesses by introducing a surcharge on owners of land located in agricultural zones which are not registered as farming businesses. “We want to create programs that will meet the needs of farmers, specifically, and adapt our regulation to agriculture’s reality,” commented Aylmer Councillor, Audrey Bureau.
The Ministère de l’Agriculture (MAPAQ) will subsidize half of the $250,000.
The PDZAA is the result of a collaboration between the City, MAPAQ, the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), the Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADC), and the Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais. The City started work on the PDZAA in April 2017, stemming from its urban plan. Quebec has asked municipalities to elaborate plans for the development and activities of agricultural zones, said Ms Bureau.
Gatineau farm businesses
According to the MAPAQ, in Gatineau, the main source of agricultural revenues comes from greenhouses (47% of revenues). In 2010, Gatineau’s total agricultural revenue reached about $6 million. In 2017, according to MAPAQ, Gatineau had 66 registered farming businesses (7% of all farms in the Outaouais). Beef cattle production is the top farming activity (main activity of 42% of farms).
40% of city territory is zoned agricultural, 40% of which is occupied by farming businesses; 47% of zoned farm land belongs to registered farms. (Transl: CB)