Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Business Development Tools For Interior Agroforestry Initiatives

Agroforestry systems can be a beneficial option for small lot agricultural producers in BC, potentially providing both “bottom line” business returns and improving land productivity.  Interest is often expressed by new and established producers to learn more about these opportunities, however, there are currently few formal resources for producers to assist them with building their agroforestry businesses.

To respond to this need, the Splatsin First Nation, with funding from the BC Agroforestry Industry Development Initiative, will develop a user-friendly, step-by-step business planning and development guide for interior agroforestry producers.  As part of developing this tool, current agroforestry producers, or those agricultural producers interested in transitioning to these production systems, will provide input via a survey.  The guide will also be “field tested” on current agroforestry or agricultural producers in the Splatsin and Cariboo areas through two extension workshops.

These business support tools will aid in developing the business case for agroforestry in BC and enhance awareness of agroforestry opportunities, through providing producers with timely, actionable information, to those considering initiating or expanding an agroforestry venture.  The guide could be used by existing agroforestry businesses to enhance their enterprise, or by current agricultural producers who wish to learn more about the economic and environmental returns from developing an agroforestry business.  Although the guide will be a “step by step” tool, land owners and managers will be able to use the agroforestry business template information and tailor it to their own circumstances.

Splatsin (formerly known as the Spallumcheen Indian Band) is one of seventeen communities that comprise the Secwepemc Nation. Splatsin First Nation has three reserves: IR #1 Salmon River, IR #2 Enderby and IR #3 Sicamous.  Splatsin has a lengthy history with natural resource management, agriculture and agroforestry.  The agroforestry business development tools project is being managed by the Splatsin Economic Development office.  For more information on this project or the upcoming extension workshops, please contact Splatsin at 250-838-6496.


Funding for this work has been provided through the BC Agroforestry Industry Development Initiative (AGF1212)