Federal-provincial support helping disaster-affected farmers

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

After an intense summer of wildfires and drought, B.C.’s farmers and ranchers are receiving additional support to repair or replace damaged infrastructure and to help with the expenses they incurred to keep their animals fed, sheltered and safe during these emergencies.

The support is provided through the 2023 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire and Drought AgriRecovery Initiative and offers as much as $71 million to help producers throughout the province return to full operation and provide the food British Columbians rely on.

Farmers and ranchers will receive assistance with as much as 70% of certain extraordinary expenses incurred during the emergencies, such as:

  • livestock feed due to decreased pasture availability
  • transportation costs related to moving livestock to feed and water
  • transportation and veterinarian costs supporting animal health and safety
  • repairs or replacement of critical irrigation infrastructure damaged by wildfire not covered by insurance
  • labour costs to repair fencing damaged by wildfire
  • re-establishing forage crops damaged by the wildfires
  • replacing apiaries, bee colonies and beekeeping equipment lost in the wildfires

AgriRecovery programs are created to support producers with extraordinary costs they incur due to an emergency, and to get them back into production. Each one is developed to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers affected by a specific situation.

AgriRecovery funding is available through the disaster relief assistance policy framework defined in the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP). Sustainable CAP is a 5-year (2023-28) $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation and resilience of the agriculture, agrifood and agri-based products sector. Sustainable CAP includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5-billion commitment cost-shared 60% federally and 40% provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

For more information about the 2023 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire and Drought AgriRecovery Initiative, producers can call: 1 888 332 3352 or email AgriRecovery@gov.bc.ca.

Program and application details will be available on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, at noon (Pacific time).

Quotes

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet with farmers and producers from across Western Canada and they’ve shared just how challenging this growing season has been for their operations. This support under the AgriRecovery Framework will help producers in British Columbia recover so they can continue to feed Canada and the world.”

– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“This summer was an extremely challenging time for B.C.’s farmers and ranchers as we dealt with unprecedented drought and wildfire. We’ve been listening to and working with farmers and ranchers, and providing programs and support that meet their unique needs. AgriRecovery is another way we are taking action to protect the livelihoods of our province’s food producers, helping them return to their land, while supporting local food security and our local economies.”

– Pam Alexis, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture and Food

“This is welcomed news after the challenging season ranchers have faced. Any producers affected by wildfire or drought have been anxiously waiting for this announcement of AgriRecovery. Today’s announcement of support will make a real difference to those ranchers facing tight feed supplies.”

– Brian Thomas, president, B.C. Cattlemen’s Association