Residents of the NWT have long responded to the unique challenges of producing fresh, safe and healthy agricultural products in the North’s unique environment.
There exists today a diverse variety of food growing initiatives across the NWT. They include local food production, farmers markets, community greenhouses and small commercial enterprises.
In the summer of 2015, the GNWT began work on community visits and engagements to inform the development of an agriculture strategy for the NWT to optimize current initiatives, and capitalize on new opportunities.
From input received from agricultural experts, producers, businesses, community organizations and residents, several key priorities emerged to shape this strategy.
Additionally, the Department of ITI has reviewed industry best practices, agriculture strategies from other jurisdictions, previous and current agricultural activities and projects, and the history of agriculture in the NWT.
ITI has engaged other GNWT departments with mandates involving areas of food production.
Extensive discussions focused on key areas such as land use and the development of a regulatory framework.
With guidance taken from these engagements and in line with the stated priorities of the 18th Legislative Assembly, the overall goal of the NWT’s first Agriculture Strategy is to:
- Build a relevant and viable agriculture industry
- Support the safe, sustainable development of food production systems
- Contribute to the sustainability of NWT communities
- Encourage and support the transfer of food production skills
- Increase availability of local food for northern residents
- Reduce the cost of food for northern residents
The strategy and accompanying action plan are built on the following pillars:
- Community leadership, partners and collaboration
- Regulatory measures
- Training and capacity building
- Food production
Under these pillars, 47 actions and activities are proposed to address all elements of the food production cycle and lay a solid foundation for the future of agriculture.
The full strategy is available for download below. If you would like a hardcopy, get in touch with your regional office.