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B.C. launches ag emergency planning and preparedness fund

September 26, 2023  By Fruit & Vegetable

The Government of British Columbia is supporting the province’s farmers, communities and First Nations with a new fund to help with increased planning and preparation for agricultural emergencies, while strengthening food security.

“We continue to see the impacts of a changing climate on our agriculture community, and we are proactively helping farmers adapt and prepare for events like drought, wildfire, flood and extreme weather that are becoming far too frequent in B.C.,” said Pam Alexis, B.C. minister of agriculture and food. “Being able to feed British Columbians is tied to our communities’ ability to be prepared for and resilient to emergencies. This investment focusses on how best to plan and prepare for future emergencies so that we’re supporting B.C.’s food producers and our overall food security.”

With as much as $20 million available, the new Food Security Emergency Planning and Preparedness Fund will support the purchase, upgrading and installation of equipment and infrastructure by those who have a direct role in preparing and responding to agricultural emergencies, including farmers, local governments, First Nations, industry associations and other service providers. Examples include:

  • upgraded or new water storage infrastructure, such as dams or water dugouts to help alleviate drought;
  • increasing capacity for feed-mill storage; and
  • ensuring the safe disposal of animals in the event of an animal disease outbreak or animal health emergency.

The fund will also help with emergency response training, emergency planning, and developing the tools and procedures necessary to respond to and manage agricultural emergencies. Examples include:

  • regional plans for livestock relocation in the event of large-scale wildfires or floods;
  • local authority and First Nation planning to support agricultural producers during emergency events; and
  • development of agriculture industry association emergency response plans.

“Farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land and are on the front lines, facing the consequences of climate change,” said Jennifer Woike, president, B.C. Agriculture Council. “This historic investment in the Food Security Emergency Planning and Preparedness Fund will allow agricultural producers to do more of what they are already doing to protect the resiliency of our province’s food systems, even in the face of wildfires, droughts and more.”

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