British Columbia will put $10 million from its federal/provincial Growing Forward funds into continuing its Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) programming.
The province and federal government announced the new funding Thursday in Kelowna to cover both the EFP and the Beneficial Management Practice (BMP) programs, to flow from B.C.’s $78 million share of the five-year Growing Forward ag policy funding framework.
The EFP and BMP programs are billed as “broad-based, voluntary, and producer-driven programs aimed at identifying and reducing environmental risks on farms.”
The province said in a release that the renewed programs will focus on water quality, water use and greenhouse gas emissions, “ultimately enabling farmers to ensure cleaner and healthier and more sustainable land.”
“Farmers are key stewards of our land and can be leaders in reducing the risk of accidental harm to our soil, air, water and biodiversity values,” provincial Agriculture Minister Steve Thomson said Thursday.
“Environmental farm planning is one of the main tools to effectively accomplish this kind of protection of our natural resources.”
The province will deliver the EFP and BMP programs through the B.C. Agriculture Research and Development Corporation (ARDCorp).
“Farmers and ranchers across B.C. are proud of being environmental stewards, and have made significant investments to improve on-farm environmental conditions through the previous EFP program,” said Garnet Estell, chair of the B.C. Agriculture Council, in the province’s release.
“The new Growing Forward funding will build on this success and keep B.C. agriculture on the leading edge in managing its natural resources.”