Agriculture in RichmondAgriculture is an important part of Richmond's history. Early settlers were attracted to Richmond by the fertile soils of Lulu and Sea Islands and the promise of agricultural productivity. Over the years, Richmond has grown and evolved into a vibrant urban centre. Despite the dramatic changes, a significant portion of Richmond's local area remains agricultural. Today, agriculture forms an important part of the local and regional economy as well as a major land use in the city.
Agricultural Land Base
Approximately 4,993 ha (12,338 ac) of Richmond's land base, or 39% of the City, is within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The total amount of area within the ALR and area zoned Agriculture outside of the ALR is approximately 5,563 ha (13,746 ac). These figures do not include ALR boundaries on Sea Island. The amount of land in the ALR has remained relatively stable in the last 30 years.
Much of Richmond's soils are organic, formed by fluvial (river) deposits of the Fraser River. Drainage is a major issue in Richmond, where the groundwater table is high. However, with improvements (mainly drainage), all of Richmond's ALR is considered to be prime agricultural land.
Farms and Farmers
Approximately 3,122 ha (7,714 ac) of Richmond is farmed by 189 farms (2016 Census). The average size of a Richmond farm is 16.5 ha (41 ac). The remaining lands in the ALR are either vacant or occupied by non-farm uses (including roads, institutional uses, golf courses, etc.).
Cranberries are the most dominant crop in Richmond, with 807 ha (1,995 ac) in production, accounting for 35.8% of the crop total. In 2016, Richmond accounted for approximately 31% of BC's cranberry acreage. Blueberries are also a significant crop in Richmond, with 577 ha (1,426 ac) in production, accounting for 25.6% of the crop total.
The 189 farms that reported in the 2016 Census of Agricultural recorded gross farm receipts of $57.8 million, with an average of $305,820 per farm. This is an increase from $48.6 million of gross farm receipts reported by 211 farms in 2011, $40.5 million of gross farm receipts reported by 172 farms in 2006, and $37.6 million of gross farm receipts reported by 182 farms in 2001.
For further information on Agriculture in Richmond, please check out the latest Agricultural Hot Facts sheet.
For more information about Agriculture, the Food Security Agricultural Advisory Committee and land use policies in the ALR, please contact:
Steven De Sousa
Planning and Development Division
6911 No. 3 Road
Richmond, BC V6Y 2C1