B.C. farmers will once again be eligible to apply for funding through a joint federal-provincial program that helps producers adapt to climate change.
The provincial and federal governments are providing $4 million for the Beneficial Management Practices program, which aims to help farmers and ranchers throughout B.C. become more resilient and contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment with waste management, air-quality and emissions control, soil and riparian integrity, water quality and environmental impacts.
Previously, there was a lifetime cap on the funding, but a change is allowing previous participants to apply again. Eligible applicants must have a complete environmental farm plan, which helps producers identify environmental strengths and potential risks on their farms and ranches.
With large parts of the province being hit by drought conditions early in the season, farmers and ranchers can apply for projects that relate to water storage, such as building dugouts and roof rainwater-harvesting systems, and water conservation, such as improved irrigation-system management and irrigation scheduling.
The funding comes from the province’s CleanBC initiative and the federal government’s Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which is a five-year, $3.5 billion investigation from federal, provincial and territorial governments. The program is being delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.
Additionally, $2 million from the Agricultural Water Infrastructure program will also be available for water infrastructure and up to $5 million from the Fraser Valley Flood Mitigation program will be available for flood-mitigation projects in the valley.
Agriculture Minister Pam Alexis announced July 25 that government would be working to connect hay and feed with farmers and ranchers in immediate need.