Farmland Conservation

The Farmland Conservation workshop as outlined in Chapter 3 reinforced the already known importance of local farmland, both for economic development and for quality of life of the local residents. Below are some excerpts…

“Farmland conservation in a planning context is attempting to keep current farmland from being converted to other uses (homes, businesses, industrial uses, etc.). Communities often use a three-pronged approach to do so:

  1. creating incentives for farmers to keep farming
  2. removing the obstacles that make farming unprofitable or undesirable and
  3. setting guidelines or controls to make sure that the type of farming is the type desired by a community”

“Guidelines can be related to the scale of farming (size of farms, zoning), the type of farming (what crops are grown), and the quality of produce (organic, genetically modified, heritage).”

“There are many reasons conserving farmland is important. The most succinct reason is that growing food locally helps to meet sustainable development goals.”

A Farmland Conservation Success Story…

“Yogita Mehra from The Energy & Resource Institute (TERI) and Mr. Mahambare, President of the Chorao Island Farmers Club gave a presentation on the benefits of farmland conservation on January 5,2010, which stressed that in spite of common misconceptions, farming can be a profitable endeavor: large corporations would not be interested in farming if there was no money to be made.”

“In a little over a year, the Chorao Island Farmers Club developed into a motivated group that sells high-quality rice and is experimenting with growing exotic vegetable crops. It has cooperatively worked to get financing and support from outside agencies, made farming on Chorao Island a profitable endeavor, and has created a model ‘apolitical’ farmers group that others can learn from.”

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