B.C. gov promises $24 million to local agriculture
April 23, 2013 By The Canadian Press
April 23, 2013, Lake Country, BC – The B.C. government recently announced a $24 million plan to increase growth in the province’s agriculture industry.
The three-year program will add $8-million annually to British Columbia’s agriculture budget to help grow, feed and purchase B.C. products.
The province’s budget provides increased supports for the agriculture sector, including the addition of $4 million over three years to provide increased oversight for the Agricultural Land Commission, which seeks to preserve farmland in B.C.
The budget also includes $20 million in carbon tax relief for farmers and greenhouse growers who consume fossil fuels to keep their operations going.
Feed BC also involves increasing the amount of locally grown foods served at B.C. hospitals, while Grow BC helps orchardists replant their orchards.
The Buy BC, which seeks to promote B.C. food products, expands a B.C. fruit and food marketing program eliminated in 2001.
B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association president Jeet Dukhia said the plans are a step forward for orchardists, especially the support for replanting and renewing orchards.
Dukhia said the replanting initiative will allow orchardists to experiment with new fruit products adding it cost orchardists about $30,000 an acre to replant an orchard, but the long-term advantage is they can go from 100 tree per acre to 2,000 trees.
The government also plans to cut provincial liquor branch mark-ups on B.C. craft distilled drink products to lower their prices in an effort to attract more customers.
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