Producers demand the end of the moratorium on cultivated area

More than 170 delegates gathered at the Caztel Center or virtually, on October 26, and demanded the end of the ban on increasing the areas of cultivation in certain hydrographic basins, in particular due to its harmful effects on the protection of land farms in peripheral areas.

The moratorium on cultivated areas was introduced in order to protect water courses, within the framework of the Agricultural Exploitation Regulation (REA), which is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Fauna and Parks (MELCCFP). . The moratorium prevents the cultivation of new plots, except through a plot transfer mechanism. This mechanism allows a company to fallow, or reforest, one parcel in order to deforest another. However, for economic reasons in particular, the latter was used to reforest plots on the outskirts for the benefit of more dynamic areas.

Considering that the reforestation of agricultural land in more forested areas increases the inequality of agricultural potential between territories, the delegates ask for the end of the moratorium on cultivated areas, which is at the origin of this problem.

In his speech, James Allen, President, emphasized the importance of finding consensus despite the great diversity of agricultural companies, both in terms of production and scale. Several topics were also discussed, including:
– the need to adequately reward ecosystem services and climate change adaptation measures produced by farmers;
– Simplification of procedures for hiring temporary foreign workers;
– the defense of the autonomy and professionalism of farmers.

Stéphanie Levasseur, second vice-president of the UPA, informed the participants about the monitoring of carbon credits, as well as about the many ongoing Union files, including the next Strategic Framework for Agriculture, a five-year agreement both federal as provincial and territorial.

In the morning, through a conference by Daniel Bernier, agricultural research and policy advisor – environment of the UPA, the delegates were able to learn both about the context and the practical aspects of carbon credits. The conference allowed participants to develop a nuanced, realistic and critical view of the prospects for significant profits that private actors sometimes present.

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