FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released a new agricultural land policy to preserve farmland and promote agricultural development. 

“Agriculture is an important economic driver in our province, and has been identified as a key opportunity for growth in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, who announced the new policy at today’s annual general meeting of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick. “It is critical that we develop policy that supports the continued growth and prosperity of this important sector.”

The New Brunswick Agricultural Land Policy is intended to provide a framework for the preservation and development of agricultural land. Agriculture occupies only five per cent of the province’s total land mass, but the potential exists for more development.

The agriculture and agri-food sectors employ 13,000 New Brunswickers and contribute $650 million to the province’s GDP, said Doucet.

“We have a significant opportunity to expand agricultural production in New Brunswick for both local and export markets,” said Doucet. “Putting more farmland into production will create jobs and spark economic growth across the province.” 

The agricultural land policy will complement the economic growth plan’s focus on promoting local food and beverages and attracting new people to the agriculture sector.

“By identifying land that is best suited to specific crops for aspiring farmers, we are giving new entrants the best chance to succeed,” said Doucet. “More producers mean increased availability of local food and beverages.”

The policy is available online. Also available online is the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan as well as more information about the Local Food and Beverages Strategy and Farming in New Brunswick… A Road Map for New Entrants.