Wednesday July 27, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends
To help combat the effects of climate change on B.C.’s long-term food security, new funding is helping farmers and ranchers protect their operations by adopting regenerative agriculture practices, improving farms’ drought resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
As itemized in a Ministry of Agriculture and Food news release today, projects are being funded through a $4.4 million increase to the Beneficial Management Practices program from Budget 2022.
The funding is part of the Province’s CleanBC program and will help meet the goals of the new Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.
Stewards of the land:
“BC farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land, and this funding will help them improve their farms’ sustainability and efficiency, while reducing their operating expenses,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food.
“Helping livestock and crop producers prepare for drought and adopt regenerative farming methods is good for BC’s environment and meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets, as well as our provincial food security and economy.”
Agriculture is a key part of economic recovery:
Last year, as BC was just starting to pull out of the intense COVID phase in March 2021 and looking at all aspects of economic recovery, Minister Popham addressed the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce about agriculture within economic recovery and development.
Several initiatives have been rolled out since Spring 2021, including allowances for agritech within the Agricultural Land Reserve and training for personnel in various sectors related to agriculture and food.
Preparing for dry spells:
The funding will help BC farmers and ranchers better prepare for dry spells by supporting the building or expansion of on-farm water storage facilities; upgrading dams, reservoirs and irrigation systems used for livestock and crops; and the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices.
Storing carbon in soil:
BC producers will also be able to undertake projects that support capturing and storing carbon in soil (also called carbon sequestration) through the establishment, enhancement, protection and management of native range and riparian habitats.
Additional funding will focus on helping farmers improve on-farm energy-efficiency projects, such as grain dryers and developing bio-gas systems.
Preparing for climate change:
“We’re helping local farmers prepare for climate change so that the soil we all depend on continues to produce food into the future and absorbs more climate-damaging greenhouse gases, keeping it out of the atmosphere,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“By working together with agricultural producers, we’re building a cleaner, stronger future for everyone that protects our incredible local food system, enhances natural habitats and reduces emissions at the same time,” said Heyman in today’s release.
Applications open to August 10, 2022:
The Beneficial Management Practices program organized by the Investment Agriculture Foundation is open to farm and ranch businesses throughout the province and is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.
Program criteria is available online. Application packages will be accepted until August 10, 2022.
Buy BC agriculture trivia contest (July 27, 2022)
September launch for Agritech innovation centre at SFU (July 21, 2022)
New program helps B.C. farmers prepare for extreme weather (July 15, 2022)
Agritech in Agricultural Land Reserve supports food security (February 19, 2022)
Economic recovery entwined with supporting food security (March 31, 2021)
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