New farmers in British Columbia can apply for financial support to grow their operations through the New Entrant Farm Business Accelerator Program, an Oct. 31 news release said. The program is being funded by the provincial and federal governments.
“Young farmers are the future of Canada’s agriculture and agrifood sectors, and it’s important that we support them,” Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, said in the release. “Investments through this program will provide more farmers in British Columbia with the tools they need to succeed and contribute to a strong, local food supply.”
Farmers can apply for the first phase of the program, which provides support for business planning and a growth strategy. The release noted 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.
“We recognize the barriers that new and young farmers face, which is why this program is so important for growing farm businesses and helping B.C. entrepreneurs flourish,” Pam Alexis, B.C. minister of agriculture and food, said in the release. “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.”
This program is an update to the Small Farm Business Acceleration Pilot Program which launched in 2020 as part of B.C.’s pandemic recovery program. The original program supported more than 60 farmers, the release said.
Applications for the first phase of the program will be accepted until Nov. 30, 2023, or until funds are fully allocated. Applicants who complete phase one are eligible to apply for phase two funding.