The National Capital Commission (NCC) has started renting out properties in Ottawa’s Greenbelt to prospective farmers and is hosting a panel on the emerging importance of sustainable urban agriculture.
By Cassandra Wood
Nov 13, 2016
The NCC rents out 30 per cent of Ottawa’s Greenbelt to local farmers, said Talbot. The agency controls about 5,000 acres of farmland, equivalent to 40 per cent of the rural lands in the City of Ottawa, which stretches from just outside the town of Arnprior in the west and close to the town of Rockland in the east.
“Since worldwide population is increasing, more people are moving to cities. Around two-thirds of the population will live in cities by 2050,” said Talbot. “We need to farm in a different and better way to feed people in urban and rural areas.”
Talbot said the NCC is proud to promote locally-grown fruit, herbs, vegetables and field crops like soybeans, corn, hay and wheat, along with a healthy environment and a rural lifestyle in Canada’s capital.
“The main difference between farmers who rent NCC’s farms within the Greenbelt and farmers from other major cities is the affordability. Our lands are affordable and close to the city. Compared to Toronto, Ottawa’s price is relatively cheaper,” said Talbot.
Currently, there are 80 NCC farms rented out to local farmers.