Programs offered in Ontario under the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) are now open for applications for cost-share funding.
CAP, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative, supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors through cost-share funding opportunities. It’s modelled on the previous Growing Forward 2 program, but there are differences, explains Margaret May, regional program lead for the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), which will administrate the program in Ontario.
It’s a similar approach, but there are many new opportunities,” says May who notes that the program is broken into three main areas – Economic Development, Environmental Stewardship, and Protection and Assurance. For Ontario, there’s also a separate geographically-targeted component, the Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS) program, which focus on farms that drain into Lake Erie and Lake St.Clair.
In this video interview with RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin, May explains that the economic development portion of CAP is designed to help applicants bring new products to market and increase market access, both domestically and internationally.
Environmental Sustainability will focus on soil health and water quality and fund a range of projects including: increasing use of cover crops, no-till, nutrient management, and erosion control. Protection and Assurance will encompass food safety, plant health, and animal health projects. Cost-share levels range from 25 to 50 percent, with category funding caps ranging from $1,500 to $100,000.
The first funding intake for these three programs opened April 3 and will close May 8. May says all applications submitted during this timeframe will be treated equally and farmers can expect to be notified of approval 45 business days after the application closing date. Future application intakes are scheduled for this August and Jan. 2019.
The LEADS program also opened for applications on April 3 and will remain open until all available funds are committed.
May is recommending applicants check out a new innovative online program guide that’s been developed for CAP. For example, with a couple of simple clicks, the online tool will help producers interested in environmental sustainability narrow their search and make the program guides easier to use.
May says changes to the framework will also allow OSCIA staff to spend more time speaking one-on-one with producers to help them understand how they can best utilize the CAP program. She’s encouraging interested producers to reach out to their local OSCIA representative for more information and plan to attend an upcoming information meeting. Click here to see a list to scheduled meetings.