B.C. expands extreme weather support program

B.C. expands extreme weather support program
May 25, 2023

Up to $2.5 million is available for farmers under the Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture program

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The B.C. government is making more support available to farmers.

For 2023, up to $2.5 million is available under the Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture program. This represents an increase from $1.4 million in 2022 when the provincial government launched the program.

The first round of funding helped 129 projects in multiple sectors.

The program is designed to help farmers conduct risk assessments and make necessary upgrades on their farms to protect the operation from extreme weather.

This can include sprinkler installation, cooling systems and other investments. And eligible applicants can receive up to $35,000 in cost-shared funding per project.

“It is important that we support (farmers) with programs like this so they can be more resilient to the impacts of climate change and better protect their livelihoods, while ensuring we have a stable, sustainable food supply,” Pam Alexis, B.C.’s minister of agriculture and food, sand in a statement.

Farmers welcome the new round of funding.

Extreme weather conditions create additional challenges on the farm. Having access to support to minimize those challenges is important, said Mark Siemens, president of the BC Egg Producers Association.

“The poultry sector was hit hard during the 2021 heat dome and flood as our farms had never been tested through these circumstances, and this funding will ensure we’re able to better prepare for and mitigate future extreme weather events,” he said.

The provincial government is also expanding the kinds of farmers who can apply for program support.

Licensed beekeepers, aquaculture producers and licensed cannabis and hemp producers can receive project funding.

The application window opened on May 23. June 14 is the last day to apply for program support.

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