An independent committee says B.C. should limit the size of houses built on provincially protected farmland known as the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The committee submitted an interim report to Agriculture Minister Lana Popham yesterday that makes 13 recommendations for protecting the reserve, including cracking down on non-farmers purchasing ALR land and building large homes.

It says speculation associated with large homes significantly over-values farmland, restricts new entrants and undermines the value and viability of farming across B.C.

Green MLA Adam Olsen welcomed the recommendation, saying that mega-mansions and speculation are driving up prices at a time when agriculture is facing a demographic crisis and young farmers are struggling to afford to buy land.