(Montreal) Quebec farms are becoming increasingly unaffordable due to high land prices, say farm organizations in the province.

Benoît Curé, the coordinator of ARTERRE, an organization that tries to introduce aspiring farmers to land and farm owners, estimates that the price of agricultural land has increased by about 10% last year.

Mr. Curé says the price of land is currently higher than the income a farmer could earn from his business for his lifetime.

He explains that several factors have contributed to the rise in prices, including real estate speculation – particularly in the Montreal area – and strong competition for the best soils. In Quebec, barely 2% of the territory can accommodate a farm.

Myriam Landry, who has been raising goats in Saint-Esprit, in Lanaudière, since 2018, says she was able to start her small business by renting a barn. However, she adds that it is difficult to obtain funding for small activities, especially for less common products such as goat meat.

According to the Union of Agricultural Producers, about 10% of farmers are considering closing their business due to rising production costs.

A study published in April by the Royal Bank of Canada revealed that 40% of Canadian farmers plan to retire in the next decade. Two out of three farmers have no plan for their estate.