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Regional Agricultural Plan

Agriculture has played a critical and significant role in the history, and the growth and development of the Regional District of North Okanagan. Agriculture continues to contribute significantly to the economy and identity of our region.

The Regional District of North Okanagan has completed the development of a Regional Agricultural Plan as a priority Regional Growth Strategy implementation project. The Plan provides an overview of the current regional food system in the North Okanagan, identifies opportunities and make recommendations that would help support a healthy, resilient and sustainable agricultural sector. The Plan considers agriculture and the food system in its regional context and anticipates future changes and challenges.

The Regional Agriculture Plan Terms of Reference was adopted by the Board of Directors on August 21, 2013 and Upland Consulting was selected to as the consulting team to develop the Regional Agricultural Plan.

Two key foundational documents were produced to inform the development of the Regional Agricultural Plan including:

This Regional Agricultural Plan project has been funded in part by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. through programs it delivers on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.

 

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The Regional District of North Okanagan, with assistance from Upland Consulting, has completed the Regional Agricultural Plan, which was presented to the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee on April 16, 2015.  Initiated and coordinated by the Regional District of North Okanagan, the draft Agricultural Plan was developed by Upland Consulting and funded by the Regional District and the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C., through programs it delivers on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.

The Agricultural Plan process was initiated in December 2013 with significant input provided by the member municipalities and the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee, composed of Regional District Directors and local agricultural producers and stakeholders. Throughout the planning process, valuable feedback from both the public and agricultural stakeholders was gathered through extensive community engagement which included public open houses, surveys, focus groups and face-to-face interviews. Based upon the broad input received, the draft Plan focuses on seven priorities:

  1. Protecting farmland and farmers
  2. Strengthening the local agricultural economy
  3. Encouraging sustainable agricultural practices
  4. Managing clean and accessible water
  5. Ensuring farmland availability for emerging farmers
  6. Creating supportive government policies and regulations
  7. Raising awareness and education