Ministry of Agriculture

Planning for Agriculture

Planning for Agriculture is a second component, along with Farm Practices Protection, of the Strengthening Farming Program.

Planning for Agriculture is broadly focused on developing strong working relationships between local governments, the farm community and the province to ensure that agriculture is given appropriate consideration in local government planning processes.

New legislative tools in the Local Government Act and Land Title Act have been designed to provide local governments with improved opportunities to ensure a climate of security and stability for farming and ranching in their communities.  In turn, this will help assure that the benefits that a strong agricultural sector brings to the municipalities and regions of BC will continue.

Examples of opportunities to plan for agriculture include:

  • encouraging agricultural land use inventories and the application of geographic information system (GIS) technology to increase the understanding of farm systems and land use relationships;

  • ensuring greater land use compatibility at the time of urban subdivision next to farming;

  • encouraging policies in Official Community Plans (OCPs) aimed at maintaining and enhancing farming;

  • designating Development Permit Areas (DPAs) for the protection of farming within OCPs to improve compatibility;

  • appointing local government agricultural advisory committees;

  • adopting agricultural area plans in key farming communities;

  • encouraging focused planning at the urban / farm interface to improve land use compatibility and to ensure a secure operating environment for the farm industry; and

  • reviewing official community plans, zoning bylaws and using farm bylaws to ensure a balanced and positive regulatory climate that provides opportunity for the growth of farming and ranching in BC.



To assist in the implementation of the Strengthening Farming Program and support local initiatives, provincial Agri-Teams have been assigned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and the Agricultural Land Commission.  Each 'team' consists of at least one Ministry and ALC staff person who work on an 'as needed' basis with local governments.

The intent of the Agri-Teams is to blend the agricultural expertise housed within the Ministry with planning talents of the Commission who have a long history of working with local governments.  While Strengthening Farming duties represent only a portion of their responsibilities, about 25 Ministry and ALC staff, including support staff with the Resource Management Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, are involved.

As a result, each municipality and regional district with land in the ALR can call upon one or both of their Agri-Team members to discuss agricultural issues.  The teams also provide links with the farm community, assist with local agricultural awareness efforts, respond to questions about local agricSurrey Agricultural Planulture and assist with the development of agricultural area plans, farm bylaws and official community and bylaw updates.

More Information

The following topics provide more detailed information on several aspects of the 'planning for agriculture' component of Strengthening Farming.

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