There are 1.4 million hectares in the FVRD; 5.4% of which is highly productive agricultural land, 1% is used for settlement purposes, and the remainder is dominated by mountainous terrain. Agriculture forms a significant component of the Regional District's economy, producing over one third of all provincial gross farm receipts. The Regional Growth Strategy recognizes that future growth must not negatively impact the agricultural sector and sets out to manage agricultural lands by:
- minimizing land use conflicts between agricultural, recreational and urban uses;
- addressing the intensification of agriculture;
- promoting the agricultural sector; and
- promoting the reclamation of lands back to agricultural use, where appropriate.
Current agricultural initiatives in which the FVRD is involved include:
Agricultural Advisory Committee - The mandate of the AAC is to inform, advise and assist the Regional Board on agricultural related issues and, from an agricultural perspective, review issues, plans and specific development proposal. The committee also promotes public awareness and education related to agricultural issues. The committee is comprised of 15 members representing commodity groups, as well as representatives from political and educational sectors. As set out in the Terms of Reference, the committee shall meet a minimum of 3 times per year. Committee agendas and minutes are posted on the FVRD website.
Agricultural Education and Awareness - With the guidance of the FVRD Agricultural Advisory Committee and the assistance of the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (AITC) Metro Vancouver's agricultural material has been distribute within the School Districts of the Regional District. In addition, the FVRD has partnered with AITC to implement "Take a Bite of BC!", which involves promoting locally grown food products in secondary schools in the Region.
Agricultural Land Commission Application Review - To protect agricultural land from urban infringement, the FVRD Board adopted a policy and instituted a referral process to ensure all Agricultural Land Reserve applications in Electoral Areas are reviewed by the AAC.
Circle Farm Tour - The FVRD is a current sponsor, and strong supporter of the Circle Farm Tour agritourism initiative.
Audible Bird Scare Device - The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands co-funded a study of the efficacy of bird scare devices with the Fraser Valley Regional District. The study included a review of propane cannons, electronic bird call devices and hawk kites, together with control sites. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands also co-funded a study on the socio-economic impacts of propane cannons.