From food preservation and gardening workshops to the introduction of barnyard animals at the agriculture fair, the Dehcho Region saw impressive growth in their agriculture sector in 2016.
Through its regional offices, the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment works jointly with the federal government to administer and deliver the Growing Forward 2 Program to enhance local food production.
Growing Forward 2 – Dehcho Region Report 2016, details the many activities, programs and successes that took place in the Dehcho.
Highlights include two agriculture fairs (hosted in Fort Simpson and Fort Liard), the provision of seeds, transplants and perennial berry bushes for each community and gardening workshops. Several community gardens were expanded as interest increased and funding was provided for the purchase of garden sheds, tools and equipment. An Agriculture Coordinator was also hired to work within each of the communities over the season.
Those hoping to hone their green-thumb abilities can now also access gardening and agriculture books in every community. Books were distributed to schools and Band Offices to stock libraries in each of the communities In addition, a library of gardening books has been developed at ITI’s Dehcho Regional Office and the public is encouraged to use it.
Regional agriculture initiatives are building an economic capacity that will eventually be the basis of our commercial agriculture sector, and help to increase community wellness and reduce the cost of living. ITI delvers $1.2 million annually in programs and initiatives under the Growing Forward partnership with the federal government. In the last 5 years, $6 million has been invested under this program to support ad grow the NWT agriculture sector.