Victoria: The B.C. government said farmers and ranchers are being supported with a new round of funding to help strengthen their resilience to wildfires, flooding and extreme heat, and mitigate future climate impacts.

In a press release, the government said the Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture program was launched as a pilot last summer and aims to build a more resilient and sustainable agriculture and food sector by helping prepare for future climate events, such as wildfires, flooding and heatwaves.

In the first year of the program, more than $1.4 million supported 129 projects in the poultry, dairy, beef, tree fruit and berry sectors. One of the primary projects funded was improving barn cooling systems to help keep poultry and cattle safe in the event of extreme heat, the press release added.

“For 2023, the program is supporting projects with up to $2.5 million. It is expanding its criteria to include B.C.-licensed apiculture (beekeeping) and aquaculture producers, as well as federally licensed cannabis and hemp producers. The program is part of B.C.’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy, which is Province’s plan to help people, communities and businesses work together to be better prepared for the impacts of climate change,” the Province said.

According to the government, applications for the Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture program are open from May 23 to June 14. Eligible applicants can access up to $35,000 in cost-shared funding per project, the Province said. 

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