Agricultural land is the foundation for regional food security and agricultural economic development, and provides indispensable ecological services. In 2011, Metro Vancouver had 60,893 ha in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), which makes up 22% of the region’s land base (the ALR is a provincial designation that protects lands for farming).
About farming in the region
Of the region’s 2,821 farms, 94% are located in Langley Township, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Richmond, Delta and Pitt Meadows. The average size of a farm in Metro Vancouver is 20 hectares (50 acres), which is typical for farms near urban areas. In addition to producing a variety of local foods, these lands provide important ecological services. These include wildlife habitat, climate regulation, nutrient and organic matter recycling, water infiltration and flood management.
Agriculture in the region provides direct employment to over 8,000 people and generated over $789 million in gross annual farm receipts in 2010. These gross farm receipts accounted for 27% of B.C.’s total gross farm receipts on only 1.5% of its agricultural land.