Land is needed for agriculture

I am deeply disturbed by the proposal of Summerland’s council to turn a large portion of prime agricultural land into a housing development.

Dear Editor:

I am deeply disturbed by the proposal of Summerland’s council to turn a large portion of our community’s prime agricultural land into a housing development.

Seeing such vivid images of the extreme drought that California is battling is a wake-up call for all of us.

We are heavily dependent on imported food. And that makes us utterly vulnerable, especially in the face of the increasingly common weather extremes that are occurring worldwide.

Here in Summerland we are in the very fortunate position of still having enough premium farmland to actually be able to sustain ourselves to a large degree, if need be.

This is an irreplaceable source of security for our community’s future. And we need to first and foremost protect this precious commodity: our prime farmland.

It is crucial that we consider the big picture instead of simply short-term gains. What good will this proposed development be to our children if they no longer have the resources necessary to feed themselves?

The land in danger of being lost to us was included in the ALR for an important reason: it is prime agricultural land — it is flat, arable and highly productive, with growing conditions that are uniquely in our favour.

Land like this is our greatest treasure as a community and our investment for generations to come.

It does not compare with the marginal land being offered as a swap.

I implore the Summerland mayor and council, in addition to B.C.’s Agricultural Land Commission, to consider our collective future, and safeguard the foundation of our community.

I also implore everyone who cares about our future to let your voice be heard. It does make a difference.

Sheila Polito

Summerland