New plan helps Bulkley-Nechako, Fraser-Fort George farmers adapt to climate change

News release

August 13, 2019 – Victoria, British Columbia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture

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 to 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 priority impact areas affecting the region—increasing wildfire risk, increasing variability and shifting crop suitability, warmer and drier summer conditions, and changing pest dynamics.

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.

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.

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 BC Agricultural Research & Development Corporation.

Quotes

“Our Government is proud to stand behind our farmers and ranchers as they respond to changing climate conditions in their regions. 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 Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 

“B.C. farmers are resilient and used to tackling challenges. 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.”

- Lana Popham, B.C. Minister of Agriculture

“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. 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.”

- Megan D’Arcy, local farmer and member of the advisory committee for the Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies

Quick facts

  • The total farmland in the Bulkley-Nechako region, the Stikine region and the Fraser-Fort George region in 2016 was over 330,000 hectares.

  • The regions employed over 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 over 16,000 hens and chickens.

  • Other notable crops in the Bulkley-Nechacko region include greenhouse flowers and greenhouse vegetables.

Associated links

Contacts

Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
justine.lesage@canada.ca
613-404-1168 (Cell)

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
media.relations@agr.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada
Like us on Facebook: CanadianAgriculture

Robert Boelens
Communications Manager
Ministry of Agriculture
250-356-1674

Samantha Charlton
Project Manager, Regional Adaptation Program
BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative
778-676-7657


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