Agriculture in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District
The Alberni Valley has a very favourable climate for agriculture with cool wet winters and hot dry summers. The growing season is, generally, shorter than areas on the east side of Vancouver Island; however, there are sites with microclimates that are suitable to a very wide range of crops.
Coastal areas experience more challenges to production due to rocky terrain and shallow topsoil layers, however the mild year-round temperatures allow for four season growing of many crops. Coastal growers also benefit from the large high-end market and low availability of coastal-grown products.
The following statistics from the 2011 Census of Agriculture highlight agriculture in the ACRD:
- There is 7,768 ha (19,195 ac) of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).
- There is 2,470 ha (6,104 ac) of farmland, with 38% of the land being used for crops, and 17% for pasture.
- 832 ha of crop area is used for hay, 204 ha for greenhouse flower production, and 32 ha for vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.
- There are 93 farms, with an average size of 27 ha (66 ac), and 40% of farms being under 10 acres.
- Total gross farm receipts (GFR) in 2010 amounted to over $4.5 million, 59% of farms had GFR of less than $10,000, and 7% over $100,000.
Alberni Valley Agricultural Plan
In 2011, the ACRD Board of Directors adopted the Alberni Valley Agricultural Plan
which set a vision for increasing food security in the region and the 12 primary goals to achieve this vision. Targets are geared towards developing the resources (land, labour, capital, and management ability) which will allow the community to produce 40% of the food consumed locally within 20 years. More information on the Plan, and recent agricultural initiatives and publications, can be found here Alberni Valley Agricultural Plan webpage.
Agricultural Development Committee
The Agricultural Development Committee (ADC) includes representation from non-profit organizations, business, and government from throughout the region. This volunteer committee reviews and discusses matter relating to agriculture and helps to guide the work of staff and consultants. The ADC is available for public delegations, and can make policy or project recommendations to the ACRD Board of Directors.
The ADC meets monthly on Tuesday afternoons. Current organizations represented include the Alberni Farmers' Institute, Tofino Community Food Initiative, Alberni Valley Transition Towns Society, Eat West Coast, School District 70, Canadian Mental Health Association, 4H Club, Alberni Fall Fair, City of Port Alberni Economic Development Office, and ACRD Board of Directors.
If you are interested in participating in the Agricultural Development Committee feel free to contact Alex Dyer, Planner at 250-720-2700 or email@example.com
Note: We are currently actively seeking First Nation and Bamfield area representation on the ADC.
Agricultural Advisory Committee
The Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) is a committee of producers and representatives from the local farming community. The volunteer committee primarily reviews applications for development within land designated as Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). This includes subdivision of land within the ALR, non-farm uses within the ALR and exclusion applications. The committee will also review Official Community Plan updates, Zoning Bylaw updates and other land use policies pertaining to agriculture. The committee passes a recommendation for the consideration of the ACRD Board of Directors.
The AAC meets as needed when ALR applications are received, and the meetings are held at the ACRD office.
If you are interested in participating in the Agricultural Advisory Committee feel free to contact Alex Dyer, Planner at 250-720-2700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many agricultural resources available for farmers and those interested in agriculture on the Agricultural Resources webpage.
For more information on agriculture in the ACRD contact Alex Dyer, Planner at 250-720-2700 or email@example.com