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Not all land is suitable to farm

Editor: Re: Much to gain from proposal, letter to the editor, Oct. 12 With reference to arable land hereabouts, a reader wrote that B.C.

Editor:

Re: Much to gain from proposal, letter to the editor, Oct. 12

With reference to arable land hereabouts, a reader wrote that B.C. is 944,735 square kilometres in size and that is about equal to the combined areas of France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Said reader then suggested the combined population of those three countries is 163.8 million people versus B.C.'s "over four million." The point of the reader's argument is, I suppose, that when referring to land mass, B.C. has an abundance of acreage.

All of that is nice to read but in reality how much of that 944,735 square kilometres of the province is arable land? According to the Canadian Encyclopaedia, " it is estimated that three per cent of B.C. has soils suitable for agricultural production."

Unlike most of the aforementioned European countries, B.C. is mountainous and it is rather difficult to grow spuds on the slope of a snow-covered mountain. Moreover, much of B.C. is at higher latitudes than are France, Germany or the Netherlands and up there, the temperature is not always suited to growing fresh vegetables.

Those competent in arithmetic can figure out how many square kilometres three per cent of 944,735 is; I need not do all the work.

Bob Orrick

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