Grade 12 students in Kelowna, BC Canada helped answer our food security questions at a face to face presentation I did in February 2020. This was just before COVID – cancelled the world economy and travel and personal interactions.
Let us dig into one of their very pragmatic answers to the WHO food security question. WHO actually does the work to increase the food supply?
The students noted that farmers build food security and one group added that consumers influence food security with their food choices (see link at the bottom of our food security page to answers). That is a very practical answer but consider this – industrial farms focused on exports are disappearing right across the country (see 2016 census of agriculture). Most vegetables eaten in Canada today are imported (87% in BC and maybe even more in AB).
In BC and Alberta (AB), the number of young farmers (under 35) increased and many of these are vegetable growers selling directly to consumers. That is what the 2016 census found in BC. A similar trend seems to be occurring in Alberta, from what I can see so far.
How many small and medium sized farms are needed to provide 50 – 60% Vegetable food security within the Calgary to Kamloops bioregions? What can we do to support young people who want to grow vegetables to sell directly to Canadian consumers?