New plan helps Bulkley-Nechako, Fraser-Fort George farmers adapt to climate change
Farmers in the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George regions will have more support to adapt to climate change, following the development of the Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies plan.
The governments of Canada and British Columbia are providing $300,000 in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The funding will support projects identified in the Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies as priority actions for increasing the resilience of producers in the region. Funded projects would help farmers respond to four impact areas affecting the region — increasing wildfire risk, increasing variability and shifting crop suitability, warmer and drier summer conditions, and changing pest dynamics.
“Our government is proud to stand behind our farmers and ranchers as they respond to changing climate conditions in their regions,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will help producers keep their farming operations strong and ensure Canadians can continue to put good, locally grown food on their tables for years to come.”
The Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies planning process, managed by the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI), commenced in summer 2018. It brought together farmers from both regions to work with local governments and provincial and federal agencies to identify priorities for agricultural adaptation, as well as strategies and actions for strengthening resilience.
“B.C. farmers are resilient and used to tackling challenges,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture. “Floods, wildfires and shifting weather patterns are too big for one person to handle. I’m proud to support strategies tailored to different regions of the province so that farmers can thrive and British Columbians can continue to enjoy access to fresh, local food. By supporting farmers working to adapt, we are strengthening our economy so that all British Columbians can prosper.”
A 14-member working group with representatives from the agricultural sector and regional and provincial governments will oversee development of these projects, and CAI will manage project implementation. Up to six projects will be completed in the region by 2023. The Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies plan is the eighth regional plan developed as part of the Regional Adaptation Program delivered by CAI.
“It’s great that government is supporting farmers and ranchers in the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George regional districts in dealing with challenges due to climate change, because it is our new reality,” said Megan D’Arcy, a local farmer and member of the advisory committee for the Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies. “Information exchange, increased collaboration and the development of new systems and best management practices will be key to ensuring that the agriculture sector in these two areas remains resilient.”
CAI develops tools and resources that increase the capacity of agriculture to adapt to climate change. Funding is provided by the governments of Canada and British Columbia under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, and is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC and the B.C. Agricultural Research & Development Corporation.
- The total farmland in the Bulkley-Nechako region, the Stikine region and the Fraser-Fort George region in 2016 was more than 330,000 hectares.
- The regions employed more than 2,600 people in the agricultural sector (both farm operators and employees) in 2016.
- Agriculture in the regions is predominantly focused on cattle, poultry, hay and field crops.
- The regions are home to nearly 80,000 cattle and calves, and more than 16,000 hens and chickens.
- Other notable crops in the Bulkley-Nechako region include greenhouse flowers and greenhouse vegetables.
To read the Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies, visit: http://www.bcagclimateaction.ca/documents/RegionalStrategies-BNFFG.pdf
For more information about the Regional Adaptation Program, visit: https://www.bcagclimateaction.ca/rap
For more information about the Bulkley-Nechako region, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/statistics/census/census-2016/aginbrief_2016_bulkley-nechako_stikine.pdf
For more information about the Fraser-Fort George region, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/statistics/census/census-2016/aginbrief_2016_fraser-fort_george.pdf
For more information about the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative, visit: https://www.bcagclimateaction.ca/
For more information on the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, visit: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/?id=1461767369849
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