The application window for six programs that are exclusively funded by the federal government under the new Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) is open, as of March 6.
The new five-year agriculture framework deal between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments is slated to take effect on April 1.
While cost-shared programs to be delivered by the provinces have not yet been finalized and announced for most provinces, the federal government is going ahead with opening up the programs that it funds on its own — the AgriAssurance, AgriCompetitiveness, AgriDiversity, AgriInnovate, AgriMarketing and AgriScience programs.
“By opening applications for federal programs today, we are ensuring that there will be no interruption in funding between the old and the new partnership,” noted Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.
The following programs are now open for funding applications, with funding amounts and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC’s) descriptions:
- AgriAssurance ($64.05 million over five years) — The objective of the AgriAssurance Program is to foster this trust by helping the industry develop and adopt systems, standards and tools to make credible, meaningful and verifiable claims about the health, safety and quality of Canadian agricultural and agri-food products and how they are produced or manufactured.
- AgriCompetitiveness ($25.72 million over five years) — The AgriCompetitiveness Program supports industry activities to identify best practices and build sector capacity, to improve farm business management and farm safety tools and information, and to promote awareness of agriculture.
- AgriDiversity ($5 million over five years) — The AgriDiversity program supports under-represented and marginalized groups, including Indigenous Peoples, to increase their capacity to take on a greater leadership role in the sector and build entrepreneurial capacity and business skills.
- AgriMarketing ($129.97 million over five years) — The objective of the AgriMarketing Program is to help the agriculture and agri-food industry promote and market its products to consumers in Canada and around the world.
- AgriScience ($324.77 million over five years) — The objective of the AgriScience Program is to accelerate the pace of innovation by funding and supporting pre-commercialization science and research for the benefit of the agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadians.
- AgriInnovate ($95.4 million over 5 years) — The AgriInnovate Program supports projects that accelerate the commercialization, demonstration and adoption of innovative technologies and processes that improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector.
While the six programs are being renewed from the current five-year agreement, the federal government has introduced new criteria for receiving funding in some cases. For example, AAFC has told commodity groups that a minimum of 15 per cent of the total cost of a new five-year research cluster under the AgriScience program must focus on greenhouse gas reductions and carbon sequestration, and a minimum of 30 per cent of total funding for a cluster must address environmental- and climate change-related issues.
These programs are part of the federal government’s $1 billion commitment to SCAP. The agreement also includes $2.5 billion in cost-shared programming to be delivered by the provincial and territorial governments — a $500 million increase versus the previous framework.
Ontario’s SCAP programming was announced last week, but AAFC says bilateral agreements with other provincial/territorial governments are still “in the process of being finalized” with three weeks to go before the new agreement and programs are supposed to take effect.
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