The seed industry is constantly evolving, with this week bringing a new expansion in British Columbia.
The province expanded its support for B.C. seed growers in order to “enhance and expand their operations, bolster food security and create a thriving food economy,” said a press release on the provincial website.
“There’s so much potential contained in the thin coat of a seed. From an apple tree to winter squash, seeds can grow into nutritious food for B.C. families,” said Lana Popham, B.C. minister of agriculture and food. “By investing in B.C. seed growers, we’re helping produce seeds adapted to B.C.’s unique climate regions, making us more resilient. As our seed businesses grow and expand, so will our economy and food security.”
The province invested $90,000 to:
- Assist seed growers in seed-educated workshops across B.C.
- Develop a seed mentorship program and educational events.
- Manage seed trials to determine the best breeds for B.C.’s climate.
- Resume seed-cleaning and processing services with mobile seed-cleaning units.
- Collaborate with existing seed libraries to recognize seed-storage capacity.
- Generate a database for seed-exchange systems.
“As a small-scale seed grower, I know the mentorship, education workshops and access to seed-cleaning equipment that I’ve benefited from will help other growers increase production of locally grown and adapted seed varieties,” shared Arzeena Hamir, owner of Amara Farm. “More local seeds will improve the resiliency of food and farming as we weather climate change and other challenges.”
“Through ongoing education and help establishing efficient and shared production systems, we can create a secure food system that values seeds as a shared resource that’s stewarded by growers for future generations,” said David Catzel, B.C. seed security program manager with FarmFolk CityFolk. “Continued support from the Province will allow us to build this system together, feeding British Columbians and ensuring we can do so into the future.”
The assistance follows the release of a report by FarmFolk CityFolk, funded by the province last year. The report focused on the condition of organic seed production in B.C., inspected the value of integrating seed-processing equipment into new and current food hubs and determined what actions are necessary to boost B.C.’s seed production.
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