With the decline in the number of farm and farmers in the Maritimes, it is important to keep farms profitable and sustainable. In order to keep the sector vibrant, it is also important to attract new farmers to the profession including the next generation of current farmers as well as any others who might be interested in farming.
One approach that has not been targeted in the recent past has been attraction of immigrant farmers. Nova Scotia recently released a new program designed attract new farmers to Nova Scotia.
There isn’t a lot of details about the program but the aim is to attract and help people to immigrate in order to set up sustainable farms in the province.
This is a great idea in that there is a lot of great fertile land available to be cultivated but without the people willing to farm it, this prime agricultural land often lays fallow or underutilized. New immigrants bring with them ideas, innovations and expertise which can inject new vitality into the agricultural sector.
I hope that other Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island develop their own similar programs to attract new farmers to the area.
Update: Apparently the program has some detractors.