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Agriculture

Viability Strategy Overview

Origin

The Agricultural Viability Strategy (AVS) was initiated by the City, in partnership with the Richmond Farmers Institute (RFI), to develop a long-range strategy for improving the viability of the farmlands within the City.

Approximately 4,900 hectares (12,100 acres) of Richmond is within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), representing close to 40% of the City's total land area. Agriculture is a significant part of Richmond's economy, supported by a moderate climate, and favourable topography and soils.

Yet despite generally favourable conditions, farmers in Richmond are facing tough challenges to maintain agriculture as a viable industry and sustain it for future generations. Pressures on the industry include drainage and irrigation issues, rural-urban conflicts, competing non-farm uses within the ALR, high land values, and competition from new crop varieties and imported products.

The AVS process has been overseen by a Core Team comprised of representatives from City staff, RFI, Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF).

The AVS is a long-term commitment and partnership of the City and agricultural community to strengthen and enhance agricultural viability in Richmond. The strategy identifies initiatives that can be undertaken or coordinated at the local level to create a positive environment and regulatory framework that supports the agricultural sector.

The AVS was approved by Richmond City Council on May 26, 2003.