Quebec's agriculture sector is protectionist and overly subsidised, with low productivity and management regimes preventing innovation, according to a government report.

After two years of hearings and study, a government-appointed commission has released some 50 recommendations, which could become new legislation next year.

The report, from the Commission sur l'avenir de l'agriculture et de l'agroalimentaire quebecois, claimed current quotas and a monopoly on farmer representation make it near impossible for young people to launch a farm business.

State and industry initiatives should move away from tightly-managed commodities like Quebec's powerful dairy sector, the study said, and help smaller producers reduce costs, improve yields, add processing and develop niche products.

The report also called for more support for organic farming, and making government support of any operation conditional on compliance with environmental rules and reporting.

The study also pushed for designated GM-free zones and an expanded Aliments du Quebec labelling programme to increase consumption of locally-grown food.