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28-07-2021 | By : Simon Audoire

While the Quebec government wishes to increase its food sovereignty, greenhouse production appears to be an important lever. Many measures to encourage farmers to invest have already borne fruit. In the opinion of lenders, expansion and installation projects have never been greater. In this context, Chartered Appraisers are called upon to assess these structures, which are as innovative as they are ambitious.


Quebec ranks third among Canadian provinces in greenhouse vegetable production, behind Ontario and British Columbia. It owns 7% of the area and 4% of the volume.

In 2018, greenhouse cultivation in Quebec generated $ 144 million in revenue over 123 hectares by 468 companies.

We also note that the consumption of field vegetables in Quebec has decreased in recent years in favor of the consumption of vegetables grown in greenhouses. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), the consumption of field vegetables decreased by 15% between 2007 and 2015 while that of greenhouse vegetables increased by 70% on the same. period. Tomatoes occupy more than half of the areas cultivated in this way and the organic production method is establishing itself as a new standard.

A technological gap to catch up

Greenhouse production has lagged behind in Quebec, despite strong market growth and increased interest in buying locally. This weakness can be explained by the size of Quebec companies, which are much smaller than their Ontario competitors. Thus, more than 60% of Quebec greenhouse companies have an area of ​​1,000 m² or less while 7% of companies have an area of ​​1 hectare (10,000 m²) or more and hold nearly 75% of greenhouse vegetable areas. . This small-scale production is costly for producers. By way of comparison, the labor cost of Quebec producers is twice as high ($ 37 / m²) than that of Ontario producers ($ 17 / m²). This is because Ontario companies have invested in large modern greenhouse complexes, which has allowed them to maximize staff efficiency.

These high costs are therefore also attributable to the technological backwardness of a large number of greenhouse cultivation companies in Quebec, some of which are nearly 25 years old.

A favorable context for growth

Greenhouses benefit fully from MAPAQ support programs. By decree of November 25, 2020, the government decided to improve the financial assistance program to promote the development of greenhouses.

The choice was made to favor consistent structures, given that the sole eligibility of projects has gone from $ 125,000 to $ 3,000,000.

Evaluate to protect

The development of agricultural structures does not take place without funding and without evaluation by a certified appraiser. By virtue of his knowledge of the market and of production techniques, he is able to assess the market value of such installations as accurately as possible. Membership in the Order of Chartered Evaluators of Quebec (OÉAQ) guarantees qualitative performance of the tasks of its members in order to protect creditors in the event of default by their clients.

The specificities of greenhouse installations

The appraiser may use the comparison, cost and income methods. He will weight his final evaluation according to the quality of the data collected for each of the methods.

After determining the optimal use of the lots, the assessment of the land is based on the analysis of comparable sales and considers various aspects such as location, permitted uses, site accessibility, topography, etc.

To assess the facilities, a thorough description is required. Beyond the dimensions, the quality of the materials, the obsolescence, etc., the assessor must be interested in the integration of the technology into the production system, whether it is to control the CO2 concentration, the temperature, nutrition or irrigation.

Food self-sufficiency is one of MAPAQ's priorities. Faced with the delay in Quebec structures, the government has stepped up its assistance programs for project leaders.

Thanks to his specific knowledge, the certified appraiser is the privileged interlocutor for the evaluation of greenhouse structures. Its intervention is essential in the financing process. It thus contributes, in its place, to the development of the sector and to the objectives of food sovereignty in Quebec.

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