Wednesday, 29 July 2015 15:48

Farmland ownership rules need reform

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Editor:


An in-depth report on farmland ownership in Canada entitled Losing our Grip was released by the NFU at regional convention in Lumsden July 8-9. Also in attendance for the  meeting were members of APAS, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and Sask. Wheat Development Commission.
The 33-page report gives a detailed account analysis of how numerous Farmland Investment Companies have bought large tracts of land via Limited Partnership Funds. The land is then rented out to farmers and later sold by these investment companies in huge blocks affordable only to institutional investors such as pension funds.
Unfortunately this is shifting ownership of Canadian farmland from the hands of actual farmers into those of absentee landlords. 

A continuance of this tenant/farmer model may eventually recreate the feudal system that led our forefathers to search for freedom in Canada.
The Farmland Security Board between 2010 and 2014 has denied only four of 130 applications from land investment companies. Permission was granted to transfer 761,130 acres to non resident owners.
More on Losing our Grip and recommendations are available at nfu.ca.
The Saskatchewan government is presently looking for input on farmland ownership.The deadline is Aug. 10. Surveys are available at www.saskatchewan.ca/farmland or at any Sask. Agriculture Office.
Ralph Renwick, Cabri

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