The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) recently released provincial land use plans, which contain new policies on developing an Agricultural System for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) to support the area’s agri-food sector and protect farmland across the region.
Until October 4, OMAFRA is seeking input on the Draft Implementation Procedures for the Agricultural System in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe, which will help municipalities make informed land use planning and economic development decisions to strengthen the GGH agri-food sector — which contributed $37.5 billion to Ontario’s GDP last year.
Comments received will be considered for the development of the final Agricultural System mapping, to be released later this year.
A recent article in the Toronto Star, Trying to stop prime Ontario farmland from being ‘entombed forever’, highlighted the need for this planning.
“It’s about making sure that the sector, as a whole, can survive,” said Kim Empringham in the article. Kim is a farmer in Stouffville, and serves as the secretary-treasurer for the York Region Federation of Agriculture.
The article continues:
“For Janet Horner, the executive director of the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance, a simple rhetorical question almost says it all: “Don’t you want to eat?”
“Protecting our land, so we are able to be somewhat self-sufficient and food secure is important. If we could eat houses, that’s fine, but we can’t,” she said.