As farmers are facing challenges ranging from climate change to rising land prices, the B.C. government is seeking input from citizens as it aims to expand the local agricultural industry.
The province has been holding in-person engagement sessions throughout the province since September 19 in Courtney and Comox, Delta, Dawson Creek, Prince George, Castlegar, and Kelowna. Today (November 5), the province is holding a session in Cranbrook and a final session will be held in Kamloops on November 14.
B.C. Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham stated in a news release that the government is seeking to increase access to locally grown food and to assist rural communities in B.C. with economic diversification and sustainable employment.
In particular, the B.C. government is seeking thoughts on issues about farming, food production, and protecting farmland in B.C., including how to support farmers and ranchers in diversifying their businesses, helping new farmers establish themselves, and ensuring residential options while prioritizing agriculture.
Feedback can also be submitted online (organizations can submit a formal statement) and will be collected until November 15.
B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) consists of 46,159 square kilometres of land for agricultural use only, which is only five percent of B.C.’s total land.