Agcitement Around Kamloops Ag Plan
In 2010, when the City of Kamloops adopted their Sustainable Kamloops Plan, one of the top priorities for the community was agriculture.
The people wanted a better understanding of where agricultural land was in their community, how it should be used or enhanced, and what opportunities were available for increased food production and processing. After two years of extensive consultation, the final version of the Kamloops agriculture area plan is expected to be adopted in early 2014.
“We were starting from nothing. Kamloops hasn’t had a plan or dedicated process to look at the agriculture sector,” says Maren Luciani, planner for the City of Kamloops. “We acknowledge that over the past 20 to 30 years there has not been a great municipal process to support agriculture.”
The plan identifies 72 action items categorized into six over-arching strategies. One of the top priorities has been to bring city bylaws and policies into alignment with those of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) on issues like agri-tourism, which the ALC allows, but the city has not.
They will also be doing more work on agricultural awareness and education for the public, recruiting new farmers to support succession planning, and developing an agricultural edge strategy to reduce urban/rural conflict.
No dust will gather on this plan. Before it was officially adopted work had begun on the next step.
“A step further to supporting the agriculture industry is to develop a targeted community-wide food strategy,” says Luciani. “Through the consultation we learned there was a real desire to do that, and the process is starting already.”
Funding: $25,000 through the former federal-provincial Safety Nets framework. (B0016.23)