National Farmers Union president says P.E.I. land protection a model
Jan Slomp is in town to talk to P.E.I.'s farmers as part of a coast-to-coast tour
The President of the National Farmers Union said P.E.I. could act as a model to the rest of the country when it comes to protecting farm land due to strong legislation that prevents large corporations from buying up agricultural land.
Jan Slomp is on P.E.I. this week as part of a coast-to-coast tour speaking with farmers.
He said farmland is being bought up by large companies across the country — especially out west.
"The result is now there is auctions of machinery of the west and it is illustrative of how terrible things are on that front," Slomp told CBC's Island Morning.
P.E.I. hasn't had the same issues, and Slomp credits P.E.I.'s Land Protection Act with keeping farmland in this province in the hands of farmers.
"P.E.I. is an interesting microcosm and I think leading in many ways with the problems arising and the dynamics for other regions," said Slomp.
"The land protection act of P.E.I. is a model that we need to apply everywhere as it protects the family farm, and it protects the general public from corporate hijacking of the sector that is then conducive for producing for the world but not for the local."
'Fairly optimistic' about future of farming
Slomp said he's encouraged by support he's seen for farmers from the new federal government.
"We've met an inviting new government that is willing to listen, so we are very hopeful to address these issues and find a solution," he said.
He said the solution to the problems plaguing farmers won't come from trade agreements, like the Trans Pacific Partnership, but rather an increased focus on food sovereignty and food security.
"It's fairly optimistic, but we may have to go through some rough times to get there," he said.
Slomp will talk to P.E.I.'s farmers on Tuesday at their district convention.