MAY 2017 | ABBOTSFORD – The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program continues to be most popular with farmers. ARDCorp opened up applications for this year’s round of BMP (Beneficial Management Practices) funding on April 1 and was fully subscribed by day’s end.
“We received 217 applications for a total of $2.7 million and only have $1.240 million available,” ARDCorp chair Allan James reported at ARDCorp’s annual meeting in Abbotsford on April 12. ARDCorp is the program delivery arm of the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC).
Although ARDCorp stopped taking applications for BMP funds, funding remains for farmers to update existing EFP’s or complete new ones.
The current EFP program will end when Growing Forward 2 ends March31, 2018 but there is strong lobbying to continue and even expand the program in the next federal-provincial-territorial agriculture agreement. ARDCorp is also lobbying to remain the delivery agent for a new EFP program.
“Continuing delivery of the Environmental Farm Plan and the Climate Action Initiative (the other major program ARDCorp delivers) remain high priorities for ARDCorp,” James stated, adding the programs ARDCorp has helped deliver “all help farmers do the right thing.”
He said the CAI “is considered leading edge in Canada. We look forward to it continuing in Growing Forward 3.”
Formed by BCAC and the Investment Agriculture Foundation in 2008, the CAI is currently delivering both regional-level and on-farm adaptation programs.
Since 2013, the CAI has completed regional adaptation plans for Delta, Cowichan, the Peace, Okanagan, Cariboo and Fraser Valley. Almost 400 participants and more than 40 agricultural and local government partners have participated in developing and implementing the plans.
James notes ARDCorp has committed $1.7 million to 29 completed and 13 in-progress projects based on those plans.
It has committed another $1.7 million to 16 on-farm adaptation projects. Eighty farmer co-operators and 60 project partners are involved in those projects.