B.C. funds increased food security for Indigenous businesses and communities
September 28, 2022 By Government of British Columbia
Indigenous communities and businesses in British Columbia wanting to increase food security will soon have opportunities to grow their farming and food-processing operations through the new Indigenous Food Systems and Agriculture Partnership Program.
“Supporting Indigenous communities to get the tools and help they need to be successful in the agricultural industry is a vital part of building community food security in B.C.,” said Lana Popham, minister of agriculture and food. “This program is helping build more resilient food systems in Indigenous communities and support growing Indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses and economies around B.C.”
As much as $80,000 per project will be provided through the new program for Indigenous-led projects that create benefits to the community, environment or toward increasing food security within local food systems.
“We are honoured to have the opportunity to support Indigenous people increase their food security and sovereignty over their food systems with the Indigenous Food Systems and Agriculture Partnership Program,” said Jack DeWit, chair, Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. “Following extensive consultation with the Indigenous Advisory Council on Agriculture and Food, we hope this program and the projects that result will strengthen Indigenous people’s success within the agriculture and agri-food sector.”
The funding can be used for activities involved in agriculture, food processing and food systems planning, training and skills development, technological adoption, scaling up productivity and profitability, and climate-change adaptations. First Nations and Indigenous communities, businesses and organizations are eligible to apply; projects for both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations will be considered.
The Indigenous Food Systems and Agriculture Partnership Program was developed with the support of the B.C. Indigenous Advisory Council on Agriculture and Food (IACAF) to align with the council’s mandate and support the Declaration Act Action Plan implementation to enhance the equitable participation of Indigenous people in the agriculture and food sector and support the realization of their food security, food sovereignty and economic development objectives.
“The council is working in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to strengthen Indigenous food systems, increase Indigenous participation in the agriculture and food sector, and to ensure recognition of Indigenous food systems in providing for cultural, social, environmental, and economic well-being,” said Patrick Michell, member, IACAF and former elected chief, Kanaka Bar Indian Band. “The IFSAP Program was developed with advice from council members in support of the council and ministry’s shared priority to strengthen Indigenous food security, food sovereignty, and build Indigenous and regional food system resilience.”
The program is funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Government of British Columbia, and is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. Applications for the program are being accepted until Oct. 31. To apply, visit https://iafbc.ca/ifsap/.
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