B.C. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Lana Popham told the Express that the province is working to improve the situation for farmers facing high prices after reduced yields in 2021 by making food production more local.
She said B.C. is building a strong local food production system, to secure food supply and help insulate the province against global and market inflation that is impacting farmers and ranchers.
“We know this is a challenging time for farmers,” Popham said.
“The current increase in production costs is not unique to farming and B.C., but is part of a larger global inflation pattern impacting products and countries all over the world.”
While the B.C. agriculture community is optimistic for the new season, B.C. Cattlemen’s Association regional representative Alex Kulchar told the Express that record high prices have farmers and ranchers in the Nechako Valley anxious going into spring.
Fertilizer and seed prices into the spring are of particular concern after a series of floods and forest fires last year hurt production.
“The price of both grain and hay is something we’ve never seen before. The cost of feed, if you can find it, is at record high levels here,” Kulchar said.
At a press conference in Prince George on March 16 B.C. Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Ravi Kahlon said the province is addressing inflation by tackling supply-chain issues.
He said movement of goods was “hampered in a big way” by the pandemic and the province is working to shorten supply chains to be able to produce more products in British Columbia.
Popham said the B.C. economy is resilient coming out of the pandemic and the province has programs in place to help farmers and ranchers.
Those include income protection programs to help offset crop losses and income declines, production loss or increased costs of production, she said.
“We remain confident B.C. farmers, ranchers and producers will continue to be strong contributors to the economy.”