British Columbia's forestry (woodlot), agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors can now access funding under the B.C. Agroforestry Industry Development Initiative (AIDI) to facilitate the development and adoption of agroforestry practices in B.C.

Agroforestry involves the intentional combination of trees with crops and/or livestock in order to enhance production. Agroforestry can be defined as production systems which synergistically integrate both agricultural and forestry practices and products resulting in optimal management of land, animal and human resources.

The AIDI is working to support the development and adoption of agroforestry practices for the benefit of all British Columbians. A new provincial agroforestry strategic plan was published in 2009 to guide development priorities and expand industry participation.

The AIDI seeks proposals for innovative projects from individuals and/or groups that address one or more of the Initiative's strategic goals:

1. Develop the business case for agroforestry practices in B.C.;
2. Improve market connections for agroforestry products and services;
3. Demonstrate agroforestry practices to showcase operational examples of agroforestry systems;
4. Improve agroforestry awareness, extension and education; and,
5. Expand and strengthen partnerships among agroforestry practitioners and stakeholder organizations.

Up to $421,000 dollars of funding is available to match industry contributions to implement the AIDIís goals through 2013. Proposals may be submitted immediately and on an ongoing basis, with cost-share funding allocated to qualified proponents for approved projects on first-come, first serve basis until all funds have been committed. All projects must be completed by December 31, 2013.

Funding for the AIDI is provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In British Columbia, the CAAP program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. (IAF). The Province of British Columbia provides in-kind support to the AIDI. The Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations administers the AIDI with the guidance of the Agroforestry Management Committee, a group representing B.C.'s agroforestry sector including agricultural, forestry and provincial government representatives.

For further information on the AIDI, and links to the application guide and forms, please visit www.agroforestry.info