You can now add the cost of compensating farmers plus lost rent to the cost of the Samsung deal.

A group of farm families are today vacating land on which they’ve toiled for decades to make way for a South Korean company’s plan to build wind and solar energy projects.

Nineteen farmers were advised a month ago they would need to make way for testing procedures by a consortium led by Samsung, which was given a controversial $7-billion deal by the Liberal government in January to create power facilities by 2015.

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The 19 farmers who lease 35 properties have received letters but ORC spokesperson Caroline Knight would not provide a breakdown of how many have to leave the land and how many are required only to provide access, because she said it would impact Samsung’s proprietary information.

Kelly said they were at first leery about the move because of the land loss but the government late last week provided a compensation package that took some of the sting away. Kelly said the province is compensating farmers for what they would have received from the selling of produce, plus compensation for what they spent on growing crops.

The Kellys planted 32 hectares of corn before they received the letter telling them they were losing the 202 hectares they lease.

“It’s pretty good compensation considering that we won’t be able to plant our crops and we won’t be able to rent it anymore,” said Kelly, who declined to give the dollar figure. “No farmer ever wants to lose land.”

And what about the restrictions on the use of prime agricultural land? I guess those rules don’t apply to the government.

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