The provincial government promises additional support for small and new farms as part of COVID-19 relief funding.
The new Small Farm Business Acceleration Pilot Program is offering funding up to $800,000 to help small and new farms receive business plan coaching and cost-shared funding for commercial farm infrastructure and equipment. The program defines small farms as those with a total annual gross revenue of less than $60,000 in the last two years.
The program funding will cover 50 per cent to 75 per cent of total approved project costs to a maximum of $17,500 for individual farm businesses.
Sara Dent, co-founder and executive director of Young Agrarians, welcomed the funding. “Small-scale farms are the bedrock of local food economies and key to strengthening short supply chains,” she said. “They are essential to healthy and resilient food systems that can weather the changes we are experiencing today.”
Young Agrarians is a farmer to farmer educational resource network for new and young ecological, organic and regenerative farmers in Canada.
The provincial government also announced $90,000 for a new raspberry replant program. Growers are cost-sharing the program, resulting in a minimum investment of $162,000.
The provincial government is also investing an additional $800,000 into Beneficial Management Practices Program, which supports farmers in taking steps to better protect the air, land and water as part of provincial climate change goals.
Farms must have a complete environmental farm plan prior to submitting projects for funding.
Lana Popham, minister of agriculture, said the new and improved program will help feed British Columbians while strengthen the provincial economy during its recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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