Farmers in the Bulkley Nechako region might be able to access thousands of dollars in funding for agricultural projects addressing the effects of climate change.
The BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI) plans to work with farmers on strategies to mitigate impacts of climate change, and $300,000 in seed funding will be made available through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support the projects.
More details on the projects will be discussed at a CAI workshop in Telkwa on Feb. 7. That meeting will build on issues raised in the last workshop in November, where the effects of drought on agriculture were discussed.
The strategies CAI focuses on cover four areas of concern: increasing wildfire risks, increasing climate and shifting crop variability, warmer and drier summer conditions, and changing pest dynamics (including managing beneficial insects), program manager Samantha Charlton told Lakes District News.
Funding for the projects isn’t application-driven, and instead groups of agricultural producers decide along with CAI’s advisory committee the project they want to conduct.
“It’s not known yet how much [money] they’ll get. It will depend on the size of projects and type. Anything is fair game as long as it helps a large number of farmers adapt to climate change. We won’t focus only on one agricultural sector,” Charlton explained.
The schemes have up to five years to use their funding but most will be complete in three years.
It is possible the projects will receive more funding from universities or other organizations, and could run for longer.
Depending on the scope, projects could include 10-100 farmers.
“They’re meant to be projects beyond what an individual can do alone. It’s aimed at large resource management issues,” Charlton said.
CAI is currently gathering information and vetting ideas for the projects, which should be complete by May, and the projects are expected to start in the summer or fall.
For more information go to https://www.bcagclimateaction.ca/news/workshops-2019feb-bnffg/ or call Charlton at 778-676-7657.