New agricultural plan coming for Delta

The city will be undertaking a new plan for Delta’s agriculture industry.

A request for proposals is being developed to hire a consultant with planning and agricultural knowledge to work with the city to update the 2011 Delta Agricultural Plan.

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Mayor George Harvie during the last civic election promised to update the current plan, which will involve the agricultural advisory committee.

Having an overarching goal of ensuring the long-term viability of agriculture in Delta, the 2011 plan primarily focused on land designated as agriculture in the Official Community Plan as well as properties within the provincial Agricultural Land Reserve.

Coun. Alicia Guichon, who chairs the committee and whose family is one of Delta’s pioneer farming families, said the current plan may now have outdated elements that need revisiting.

She added Coun. Lois Jackson, who was mayor when the first plan was written, along with staff, will also participate in the review, which will continue into 2021.

“The committee is providing input to staff on the scope of work and terms of reference for the review, which would form the basis for a request for proposals for consultant services to be issued later this year. With COVID-19, this got pushed back a bit. The agricultural planning work will be funded through the community planning and development department budget, but staff are also actively researching potential grant opportunities,” explained Guichon.

“The 2011 Ag Plan was partly funded through a grant from the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. and we are always looking for these opportunities to help us get the most out of our research and our consultant.

“Personally, I’m looking forward to highlighting education as a key topic throughout the plan. Areas where we can do better as a city to not only educate our residents on the changing world of agriculture and what we are doing locally, but also help educate our young folks and students to help engage and promote our next generations to keep up our farming culture here in Delta.”

Guichon noted she hopes the committee will meet again by early November and have more information to bring back to council.

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