The governments of Canada and Alberta are supporting the Alberta Hemp Alliance (AHA) with a one-time grant to establish a provincial industry association for hemp processing. The AHA will receive more than $300,000 over two years, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP).
The grant will help AHA build capacity to fulfil its mandate as the provincial association for the hemp industry in the province. AHA intends to be self-sustainable beyond its first years of operation by creating revenue streams from membership fees, an industry sales levy, education and training, webinars, conferences, and trade shows.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) says supporting the hemp industry is an important opportunity for producers as it will provide new market opportunities, and a way to diversify their crop rotation.
CAP has also provided more than $950,000 in grants to BioComposites Group Inc. (BCG) in the past three years, to support growth in the hemp fibre industry in Alberta. BCG sources hemp straw, which was previously seen as waste, from Alberta farmers.
Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, says the investments into the hemp industry are a game-changer for Alberta.
“It’s great to see BCG and the AHA committed to rural revitalization and supporting our ambitious targets for job creation, investment attraction, and increased agricultural and value-added exports,” says Dreeshen.