Clinton is surrounded by about 77,600 acres of land in agricultural land use, the majority in ranching and forage production. However opportunities are good for the development of value-added products such as hops, specialty berries, high quality alfalfa and timothy forage for the provincial and international export market.
THE OPPORTUNITY TREND
The Clinton region’s value-added agricultural opportunities are export-oriented and profit from the reputation for high quality that BC food and feed products possess. Increasing per capita incomes in developing and industrial countries is driving demand for meat, dairy and other healthful food products. Global weather variability virtually guarantees that imports of livestock feed and/or human food will be required internationally. These trends are fuelling demand for forage from BC. Regionally, brewers are expanding rapidly and Clinton is also engaged in attracting a micro-brewery locally creating new demand for hops production.
THE CAPACITY FOR GROWTH IS HERE
The capacity of the region to produce forage products, hops and berry crops is undisputed and the volume of production, while surplus to domestic needs, has not been tapped in terms of potential. Moreover, Crown lands designated for agriculture are available to expand upon, as economic conditions warrant. As such the availability of supply will not pose a constraint to value-added agricultural development.
Improved production quality and increased volume of exports reduce processing costs and improve per unit returns. There is ample opportunity for producers throughout the BC Central Interior, including the Clinton area, to adopt forage production practices that would achieve these results.
PLENTY OF DEMAND
The demand of forage exports is anticipated to continue growing within the province and global regions (such as Asia) where land constraints and human population growth are reducing agricultural land availability and limiting agricultural production.
World trade agreements are providing greater international trading access and improved protocols are evolving for integrating feed and foods safety, quality, and phyto-sanitary concerns in product standards. Improved technologies have also been adopted to preserve product quality, extend travel distances, and reduce market access costs.