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Delta aiming to help its farming community

Delta’s Agricultural Plan was last updated in 2011
delta agricultural plan update
The new agricultural plan will recommend changes to Delta’s current Official Community Plan policies and zoning bylaw.

It will be a new plan by the City of Delta aimed at helping the local farming industry stay viable.

Work is well underway to come up with a new Delta Agricultural Plan, last updated more than a decade ago, to come up with recommendations and implementation actions the city could undertake and lead.

“We are in the midst of doing the ag plan, making lots of headway there,” Coun. Alicia Guichon, a member of Delta’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, told council recently. “It’s been an excellent process. A great consulting firm has been hired. I’m really enjoying the process…we’re going to have this completed before the fall, which is exciting.”

Also on the committee, Coun. Lois Jackson, who was Delta’s mayor when the 2011 plan was formulated, said the current plan was a good one but is now “quite dated” and farmers are looking forward to a new one.

The city is also conducting a community survey, which is to be completed by April 29. A virtual community agricultural forum is also being planned for later in the month.

At a recent meeting of the advisory committee, the consultant said based on interviews and feedback, so far, there is strong support for agriculture in the community.

However, there still is concern over non-farm uses, climate change, waterfowl damage challenges and competing land uses such as parking, sharing the road and trespassing.

Some suggestions for improvements include educating the public on the importance of agriculture, improving infrastructure to support farmers and protecting and preserving farmland.

The committee was also told revisions will need to be made when it comes to the current plan’s goals and objectives and new recommendations will be brought forward pending the results of the stakeholder engagement process.

The committee was previously told the shift in focus in the new plan will include increasing opportunities for Delta when it comes to engagement with external agencies and stakeholders, focus more on action items that are within Delta’s authority and provide more practical details on how action items could be implemented.

Recommendations within the new plan will be organized into several objectives: improve the economic sustainability of Delta agriculture, enhance the agricultural resource base, create opportunities for efficiency, competitiveness, diversification and new entrants, as well as increase public support for agriculture.