Farmers Forum staff
A steep decline in the number of mid-sized farms in Canada since 2011 poses a threat to farmers’ own clout, according to the researcher behind a new paper released Nov. 2 by thinktank Agri-Food Economic Systems.
The “disruptive” implications range from an impact on traditional farm organizations to municipal taxes and infrastructure demands, Al Mussell writes in a summary of Stratification in Canadian Agriculture: Surveying the Implications.
“We have a declining number of small farms, for whom agriculture is not the primary source of household income; a much smaller number of large and very large farms that are growing in number, for whom farming is the overwhelming source of household income; and a steep decline in the number of middle-sized farms — where previously, farming was the dominant source of household income,” Mussell says.
The paper concludes the answer is not to rein in large farms that anchor the efficiency and competitiveness of our agri-food supply chains. Rather, it recommends a dialogue be built around renewed collaboration and institutions to facilitate a renewal of diversity in our farms and support the viability of small and mid-sized farms. See the paper at www.agrifoodecon.ca