Montreal

With few to leave their farms to, Quebec farmers worry for future

Pierre Samson, president of the Cooperative du marché Sainte-Foy, has spent 40 years growing different kinds of apples. He’s worried his life’s work will be for naught once he retires.

Some would like to see government initiatives to encourage the next generation of potential farmers

Markets like this may be a thing of the past if farmers can't find people to take over their businesses, some in the industry say. (Radio-Canada)

With about a month left in the harvest season, some Quebec farmers say a lack of succession options are making them worry about the future of their profession.

Pierre Samson, president of the Cooperative du marché Sainte-Foy, has spent 40 years growing different kinds of apples. He's worried his life's work will be for naught once he retires.

"It's sad to have put so much work and energy into developing a product and a client base and have it all just fizzle," he said.

Pierre Samson grows apples for a living. He's worried his hard work will go to waste if there's no one to pass his farm on to. (Radio-Canada)

Samson said he believes that in 10 years, many farmers will be out of job because there won't be anyone to take over.

"Farms are relatively expensive and with the weather, inputs and the kind of marketing required, the risks are quite high," he said.

Some producers say one factor is that families are now smaller than they used to be, meaning there are fewer options for people to pass farms down to.

Francine Jobidon, who works for Jardins Du Petit-Pré near Quebec City, says she's hoping her brother-in-law, who has three children, will be up to the task.

Samson said he hopes the government will introduce more entrepreneurship initiatives for the next generation of farmers.

"We must bring more kids to the farm," he said. 

Based on a report by Radio-Canada's Pascale Lacombe

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