Land Tenure Problems and the Saskatchewan Land Bank

Gordon, J.
Year Published:  1979  
Pages:  13pp  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX948

This brief, presented to the People's Food Commission in Langenberg, Sask. examines the food issue from the perspective of the high cost of farm land.

Abstract:  This brief, presented to the People's Food Commission in Langenberg, Sask. examines the food issue from the perspective of the high cost of farm land. Land, as a basic resource is important in any study of the food system. It is subject to speculative buying and selling and, therefore, is often a factor in the raising of food prices.

As land prices continue to increase at such a rapid pace, it is becoming more difficult to transfer ownership of farm real estate. This is especially detrimental to the family farm structure.

In 1972 the Saskatchewan Land Bank Program was instituted with the objectives of (a) maintaining the family farm, and (b) enabling owners of farm land to sell at a fair price. These objectives were much more limited than original proposals for the Land Bank which included the removal of land from the speculative market and a life-long lease to the farmer.

In the first few years of the program, the Land Bank functioned to provide a market. When market conditions are good, the program focuses on developing a desired farm structure by breaking up large units and acting as a family farm transfer mechanism.

In conclusion the author feels that the scope of the Land Bank Program is too narrow to achieve its original objectives. S/he states "Until land is removed from the speculative market, land resources will continue to be controlled by fewer and fewer people as more young farmers are denied access. The absolute inability of young farmers to carry debt costs associated with land transfer will ensure an acceleration of the trend to some form of family corporate control of agricultural production."

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