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April 10, 2017, 8:36 am

Agricultural Program Will Expand Opportunities in Powell River

City of Powell River

POWELL RIVER - Agriculture in Powell River will be strengthened and expanded through financial assistance from a provincial economic development program, combined with local initiative, knowledge and funding.
 
The Powell River Sustainable Agriculture Training and Development Program (PRSATDP) will provide new and existing farmers and market gardeners with affordable access to agricultural training and support programs. The objective of the program is to develop sustainable, secure, local food sources for the Powell River community, and capture economic development and employment opportunities associated with the creation and support of small-scale farming operations. The province is providing $100,000 and there will be a local contribution of $25,000 towards PRSATDP.
 
“We really thank the BC Rural Dividend Program for funding this project,” said Mayor Dave Formosa. “It will have a significant impact on the ability to increase food production in the region, as well as assure the success of existing farmers.”
 
A local steering committee will be formed to provide program oversight. It will be comprised of representatives from the City, Powell River Educational Services Society, School District 47, Vancouver Island University, Community Futures Powell River and the Powell River Farmers’ and Agricultural Institute. The program’s sponsors will oversee the completion of a business plan for the program as well as to draft construction plans for a facility to house it.
 
The outcomes of the project are to support economic development, support economic diversification, support the attraction and retention of youth and support the development of effective partnerships and increased shared prosperity.
 
“We are going to be building a training and development program that will provide solutions to obstacles being faced by existing farmers, as well as educating new farmers, to ensure the success of food production in the area,” said Jay Yule, Executive Director of the Powell River Education Services Society.
 
The program that is developed will be focused on educational courses, as well as professional development opportunities and supports for farmers. It will also spur entrepreneurial growth in the sector.
 
Greg Cran, Powell River Campus Administrator for Vancouver Island University, said another valuable program component is assisting First Nations participants in increasing food production in their communities, as well as encouraging small business growth through the development of farms or food production facilities.
 
The purpose of the province’s BC Rural Dividend Program is to contribute to the economic strength, sustainability and resilience of small, rural communities.
 
For more information, contact:
 
Scott Randolph
Manager of Economic Development
City of Powell River
604-485-8653
 
Jay Yule
Executive Director
Powell River Education Services Society
604-485-6271
 
Greg Cran
Campus Administrator – Powell River
Vancouver Island University
604-485-8026

 

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