VICTORIA, B.C. – New funding has become available to help farmers and ranchers protect their operations by using regenerative agriculture practices, improving farms’ drought resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In a release, B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food says the funding will help B.C. farmers and ranchers prepare for dry spells by funding the building or expansion of water storage facilities, upgrading dams, reservoirs and irrigation systems and beginning the use of regenerative agricultural practices.

“B.C. farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land, and this funding will help them improve their farms’ sustainability and efficiency while reducing their operating expenses,” said Lana Popham, minister of agriculture and food.

“Helping livestock and crop producers prepare for drought and adopt regenerative farming methods is good for B.C.’s environment and meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets, as well as our provincial food security and economy.”

B.C. producers will reportedly also be able to take on projects that support the capture and storage of carbon in the soil, called carbon sequestration, through the establishment, enhancement, protection and management of native range and river-side habitats.

“We’re helping local farmers prepare for climate change so that the soil we all depend on continues to produce food into the future and absorbs more climate-damaging greenhouse gases, keeping it out of the atmosphere,” said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy.

“This investment is an important part of our CleanBC Roadmap and our Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy. By working together with agricultural producers, we’re building a cleaner, stronger future for everyone that protects our incredible local food system, enhances natural habitats and reduces emissions at the same time.”

More funding will focus on helping farmers improve energy-efficient projects, such as grain dryers and bio-gas systems.

These projects will be funded through a $4.4 million increase to the beneficial management practices program from Budget 2022.

This funding is part of the province’s CleanBC program and will reportedly help meet the goals of the new Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.

The release states that program criteria and application packages will be accepted until August 10th and are available here.

Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.