Farmers on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands are slated to receive a total of $300,000 to help form strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change on agriculture.
In a statement on Monday, the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture announced this funding will be made available by both the provincial and federal governments through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
The projects funded by this investment will respond to four climate change impacts that are harming agriculture on the islands:
- warmer and drier summer conditions,
- changing pests and beneficial insects,
- increasing variability and shifting suitability, and
- increasing precipitation and extreme precipitation events.
“We’re helping farmers plan and develop to respond to the challenges of a changing climate and how that affects their livelihood,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture.
“These strategies, specifically designed for farmers on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, will help them adapt so they can continue contributing to our economy and providing the fresh local food our communities depend on.”
The planning process for these projects began last summer through a series of focus groups that involved 90 farmers to work with six Vancouver Island regional districts, as well as provincial and federal agencies, to identify priorities and actions for agricultural adaptation.
The development of priority projects will be overseen by 20 representatives from the agricultural sector and regional and provincial governments.
As of 2016, the agriculture sector on Vancouver Island employed over 7,500 people.