South Cariboo Agriculture Centre Takes Local Farming Knowledge Online

Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition

2012-Agriculture has long been an important industry in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of British Columbia, providing a large part of the region's character and lore in addition to the employment and economic benefits it provides the region. Examination of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land data has shown that there is room to develop new agricutlure products and increase production of under produced product lines in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region.

The Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition is developing a web based agriculture enterprise tool that will allow existing and new agriculture businesses to access and anazlyse the business opportunities in various product lines including berries, fruit, vegetables, livestock, and field crops. Business analysis will be done at the farm level using data such as Canada Land Inventory information, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands data, and current market information. The project will gather the necessary regional data into a web based tool that will alllow farmers to access this data digitally, on their own, through one on one presentation, or in workshop sessions. This web-based tool will also include a live Blog that will allow growers and buyers to connect in real time to facilitate business opportunities.

The marketing component of this project, which was undertaken with funding support from Northern Development, links growers with their markets with a series of Cluster Sessions, in which there will be opportunities for growers to develop business relationships with other growers and sector buyers.

The Agriculture Web-Based Enterprise Tool brochure and newsletters can be downloaded from the South Cariboo Agriculture Centre's website at www.cariboo-agcentre.ca.

"This project, the Agriculture Web Based Enterprise Tool, would not have been possible without the support of Northern Development. We thank the board and staff for their support. This project has had a positive impact on agriculture throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin and we look forward to further successes."

Wylie Bystedt, Project Coordinator, Agriculture Web Based Enterprise Tool

Positive Economic Impacts in the Cariboo

This Agricultural Web Based Enterpise Tool seeks to develop more viable agriculture business by building value chains for the produce being grown in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. The marketing initiatives for the Agriculture Web Based Enterprise Tool are a critical component to establishing and continuing measurement sales information. The marketing initiatives will bring together both growers and buyers and will assist in establishing and supporting local food production and the creation of employment and job opportunities through increased revenue generation.

The proponents estimate that over the next five years, producers will see an annual increase of ten percent, which will generate in excess of $120,000 in revenue for producers. Furthermore, producers noted that if they could incease revenue on multiple products that by year three of the project they would be in a position to hire additional staff members outside of the family unit, which currently provides most of the staffing requirements.