MAPAQ ap­proves Mem­phrem­a­gog MRC’s new farm­land zon­ing

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

MAPAQ ( Min­is­tere de l’Agri­cul­ture, des Pecheries et de l’Al­i­men­ta­tion du Que­bec) has ap­proved the Mem­phrem­a­gog MRC’s Plan de de­vel­oppe­ment de la zone agri­cole (PDZA). The plan was pre­pared with agri­cul­tural pro­duc­ers, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and oth­ers in the com­mu­nity.

Jac­ques De­mers, the pre­fect of the MRC, com­mented: “We’re ex­tremely proud of the out­come of this project. Thanks to the syn­ergy de­vel­oped dur­ing the elab­o­ra­tion of the PDZA, we can count on the pre­cious col­lab­o­ra­tion of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, the agri­cul­tural pro­duc­ers, the UPA and oth­ers. Ev­ery­one has a role to play in the chang­ing of the farm­land.”

In the last year, the needs of the farm­ers be­came clear dur­ing the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions. The con­cerns raised led to tar­geted ac­tions that will take place in the next five years. The rec­om­men­da­tions of the agri­cul­tural pro­duc­ers were pri­mar­ily over the putting in place of a “guichet unique d’in­for­ma­tion”, the tak­ing into ac­count by the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of the re­al­ity of agri­cul­ture, mak­ing the pop­u­la­tion aware of that re­al­ity, and the de­vel­op­ment of lo­cal prod­ucts.

The 2015-2020 PDZA ac­tion plan fore­sees in­vest­ments of close to $200,000 to de­velop the agri­cul­tural sec­tor and gen­er­ate eco­nomic fall­out in the re­gion. The ac­tion plan has six as­pects: eco­nomic, reg­u­la­tory, touris­tic, sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, tax­a­tion, rais­ing aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion. In 2012, the MRC re­ceived a $40,000 grant from MASPAQ to cre­ate the PDZA. The Con­fer­ence re­gionale des

elus de l’Estrie (CRE) pro­vided $10,000. The PDZA is a plan­ning tool that aims to de­velop the full agri­cul­tural po­ten­tial of an MRC. It takes into ac­count the state of the agri­cul­tural sit­u­a­tion and the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the pos­si­bil­i­ties for de­vel­op­ment of farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. It aims for a dy­namic oc­cu­pa­tion of the agri­cul­tural zone and the de­vel­op­ment of the agri­cul­tural po­ten­tial with a per­spec­tive of growth and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of ac­tiv­i­ties.

The PDZA and its ac­tion plan can be con­sulted at www.mr­cmem­phrem­a­gog.com.

Town­ships farm­ers have been rush­ing to har­vest their corn after the rather early ‘killing frost’ we re­ceived about two weeks ago. The qual­ity of the corn goes down after such cold tem­per­a­tures.

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