Program aims to help B.C. farmers adapt to climate change
October 6, 2023 By Top Crop Manager
B.C. farmers and ranchers are receiving support from the provincial and federal government’s Regional Extension Program, which is allocating $1.5 million in funding to help growers continue to produce food during a time of ever-changing climate conditions.
The Regional Extension Program supports regional projects focusing on research, knowledge transfer and new technologies. Funded by the governments of Canada and B.C., the goal of the program is to ensure healthy soils and ecosystems in agricultural communities, while helping reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and prepare for, and mitigate the impacts of, drought, wildfire, flooding and extreme temperatures.
“Climate change is creating more challenges for our farmers, ranchers and food producers, and we’re seeing the impacts of these extreme weather events in our communities,” says Pam Alexis, minister of Agriculture and Food. “We’re proactively helping producers so they can better prepare for, adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. This will help them build more resilient and sustainable practices so they can better protect their farms and livestock and ensure our food supply is stable now and in the future.”
The program funds activities such as, data sharing, on-farm demonstrations, workshops and webinars that highlight best practices and the latest research and technologies to support sustainable agriculture. There are 16 projects underway with more starting in the coming months.
Several projects focus on helping regions prepare for and adapt to drought. In drought-affected regions of B.C., workshops are being offered to give farmers information to be better prepared and implement new strategies and best management practices that help them adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Other projects include workshops and field days on “silvopasture” for farmers and ranchers so they can learn about and apply new and best management practices that improve water quality and land-use planning.
A key feature of this program is the use of local knowledge whereby ministry staff work directly with farmers to identify and develop projects that strengthen both climate resilience and food security. Regional engagement sessions will be in November. Interested farmers can call AgriServiceBC at 1-888-221-7141 to find out about activities in their region.