The province is relaunching a farm support program piloted two years ago, rebranding it with the assistance of federal funding.
The New Entrant Farm Business Accelerator Program is receiving $600,000 under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support business planning and equipment purchases for farms that have not reported income in the past five years.
The first phase will receive applications for planning; the second will see funding disbursed to applicants that wish to move forward and implement their plans.
“By providing this support, farmers can map out their future and then purchase what they need to succeed as a business, while also strengthening the economy and food supply in their communities,” provincial agriculture minister Pam Alexis said in announcing the funding.
The province is receiving applications for the first phase of the program until November 30, or until funds are fully allocated. A breakdown of funding for the two phases was not included with the announcement.
The original Small Farm Business Acceleration Pilot Program, the first announcement for farmers after the NDP was elected in 2020, supported 64 farmers. It made $800,000 available for business coaching and equipment purchases as part of the province’s COVID-19 response and recovery initiative.
Projects supported by the pilot program included greenhouses for increasing vegetable production in northern BC, including at Farmer Cam’s Foods in the Skeena Valley and Old Ochiltree Ranch in 150 Mile House.
The program supported a total of 53 horticultural operations across the province, and 11 livestock operations.