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CAN: British Columbia supporting new and young farmers

New and small-scale farmers will be able to grow their businesses and help strengthen food security in their communities with the relaunch of the New Entrant Farm Business Accelerator Program.

Farmers can now apply for the first phase of the program, which provides support for business planning and a growth strategy. The second phase will support the implementation of that growth strategy and includes funding for on-farm infrastructure and equipment, such as greenhouses, tractors, and irrigation systems.

The new program is an update to the Small Business Acceleration Pilot Program launched in 2020 as part of the Province’s COVID-19 Stronger BC economic recovery plan. It supported more than 60 farmers. The updated program builds on the success of the pilot and provides support to farmers so they can grow their diverse farm businesses throughout B.C.

The pilot program supported operations such as Puzzlegrass Farm in the Naramata region, owned and operated by first-generation farmers Erin Abercrombie and Madison Whale. The women operate a community-supported agriculture program from the farm. They received support to help buy materials to build a small farm store outlet, a shed, and a seedling greenhouse to increase vegetable production.

New orchardists Trent Mason and Emily Chambers, who own Blue Canoe Orchards in Creston, also received funding from the pilot to purchase a tractor. This helped them increase sales productivity from their orchard with almost 900 cherry trees.

Applications for the first phase of the program will be accepted from October 31 until November 30, 2023, or until funds are fully allocated. Applicants who complete Phase 1 are eligible to apply for Phase 2 funding.

The program is receiving $600,000 through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a 5-year (April 1, 2023, until March 31, 2028) $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial, and territorial governments to strengthen the competitiveness, innovation and resiliency of the agriculture, agrifood and agriculture‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60% federally and 40% provincially / territorially for programs designed and delivered by provinces and territories.


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