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.
“B.C. 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 B.C.’s environment and meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets, as well as our provincial food security and economy.”
The funding will help B.C. 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.
B.C. 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.
The 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.
“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. “This investment is an important part of our CleanBC Roadmap and our Climate Preparedness and Adaptation 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.”
The Beneficial Management Practices program is open to farm and ranch businesses throughout the province and is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. Program criteria and application packages will be accepted until Aug. 10, 2022, and are available at: www.iafbc.ca/bmp
Stan Vander Waal, president, BC Agriculture Council –
“Farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land and leaders in addressing climate change through on-farm innovation. We’re pleased to see this increase to Beneficial Management Practices program funding, which will support projects that benefit farm operations and produce environmental benefits, such as carbon sequestration.”
Jeremy Dunn, general manager, BC Dairy Association –
“B.C.’s dairy farmers have experienced the impacts of climate change on local food production firsthand. We are committed to continual enhancement of practices to support environmental sustainability on the farm, and appreciate the government’s investment in Beneficial Management Practices, which will help us reach climate targets.”
Malcolm Odermatt, grain farmer, president of BC Grain Producers –
“In order to mitigate climate change, reduce fuel consumption and meet the growing requirements of high-yielding crop varieties, farmers in the B.C. Peace region must increase their levels of efficiency. Drying grain on the farm is one way to increase efficiency as it reduces trucking and the harvest equipment required. Extending the grain dryer program will assist farmers in their ability to maximize seeded acres and hedge against unfavourable weather during the growing season.”
- Eligible applicants for the Beneficial Management Practices program must have a complete Environmental Farm Plan, which helps producers identify both environmental strengths and potential risks on their farms.
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Food has formed a Regenerative Agriculture Advisory Group to help farmers access the latest technology, create more resilient farms and increase sustainability.
- The Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC is a not-for-profit that delivers government funded programs to the agriculture and agri-food sector of British Columbia.
Find out more about the Beneficial Management Practices program and funding opportunities for waste management, air quality and emissions control, soil and riparian integrity, water quality and environmental impacts: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/beneficial-management-practices
Learn more about Environmental Farm Plans: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/environmental-farm-plan
Read about B.C.’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/adaptation/cpas
Learn more about the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province’s plan to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2030 and reach net zero by 2050: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/
Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC: https://iafbc.ca/