Focus on expanding and supporting domestic market

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Delta’s plan involves multiple partners, including the Delta Farmer’s Institute and the City of Delta, working toward shared climate goals and focusing on adaptation projects that will benefit the region, such as improving irrigation at the farm.

For the past five years I have had the honor of serving as Minister of Agriculture for British Columbia and during that time we have focused on expanding and supporting our domestic market. . This does not mean that we turn down international opportunities, but it is important that work is done to solidify our provincial food resilience so that we remain stable in times of crisis.

The importance of this work has been highlighted over the past two years with supply chain issues caused by the pandemic and climate-related extreme weather events, such as last fall’s record flooding.

We are now at a critical juncture where we must make the right choices to ensure we build stronger and more sustainable local food systems that can withstand periods of disruption while enabling more regional economic development.

Agriculture and being able to feed British Columbians are intimately linked to climate change. It is imperative that we act now to prepare for and, where possible, mitigate the impacts of climate change which will only continue to grow and affect the livelihoods of farmers and food producers with each passing season. We must protect our food security and our food economy.

BC’s Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech Network will be key to our success, helping to increase sustainability, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and increase farmer productivity and profitability. As part of this, our Regenerative Agriculture Advisory Group will examine opportunities in our natural production systems and in agritech to restore soils, which will strengthen our food supply.

We recently announced a new Agriculture Severe Weather Preparedness Program that will help fund climate adaptation and mitigation projects such as flood-resistant food storage, farm building renovations, improved barn cooling systems and extreme heat protection for crops and livestock. The program is part of British Columbia’s Climate Change Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy, which takes a wide range of actions to build a more resilient future for people and communities.

We are also providing increased funding to help farmers complete on-farm energy efficiency projects, adopt regenerative farming practices, better protect against droughts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This builds on work already done under the Federal-Provincial Climate Change Adaptation Program, which includes funding for regional adaptation plans in eight regions of British Columbia, including Delta.

Delta’s plan involves multiple partners, including the Delta Farmer’s Institute and the City of Delta, working toward shared climate goals and focusing on adaptation projects that will benefit the region, such as improving irrigation at the farm.

We have seen what is at stake in our agricultural sector and the threat climate change poses to our farming communities and the overall food security of British Columbians. This is the biggest challenge we face going forward and we must continue to work together to ensure that we increase our food resilience and continually add new tools to our toolbox.

Our government will continue to work hard to support our agricultural sector and we remain committed to having a resilient and competitive agriculture and food sector that feeds and employs British Columbians.

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