Where the money has gone: On-Farm Climate Action Fund halfway through its budget

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Now in its third year, the On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) is a $704.1 million funding program that is part of the Government of Canada’s Agricultural Climate Solutions initiative, intended to help farmers tackle climate change.

The Fund falls under the $4 billion Natural Climate Solutions Fund managed by Natural Resources Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, as well as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

OFCAF funding is aimed at promoting adoption of beneficial management practices (BMPs) in relation to nitrogen management, cover cropping,  and rotational grazing practices on agricultural operations, across the country.

When the program first opened in 2021, the Fund sought proposals from potential recipient organizations across Canada. Out of the 89 applications that AAFC received in the original intake, thirteen organizations were chosen to redistribute the funds intended to help farmers adopt and implement immediate on-farm BMPs, in order to increase carbon storage and reduce greenhouse gases. These 13 organizations included an Indigenous-led project that was approved with the Manitoba Métis Federation in June 2022.

Budget 2022 extended OFCAF from its original end date of March 31, 2024, to March 31, 2028. Currently, four fiscal years remain for the program (2024-25 to 2027-28). Approximately half of the OFCAF budget has been committed to date, with the balance to be spent in the final three years.

AAFC said in an email to RealAgriculture that work is currently underway to define the parameters of OFCAF expansion that will apply for the final three years of the program.

The recipient organizations from the original intake work directly with producers to provide them with cost-share support to implement projects in the areas of nitrogen management, cover cropping and rotational grazing. They also manage knowledge transfer activities that provide training and mentorship opportunities to support producers in increasing BMP adoption.

The current recipient allocations are:

  • B.C. Investment Agriculture Foundation                              $12,269,102
  • Canadian Forage and Grassland Association                       $16,646,337
  • ECOCERT Canada                                                                      $7,686,670
  • Manitoba Association of Watersheds                                     $63,958,190
  • Manitoba Métis Federation                                                      $9,789,114
  • New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association $12,758,595
  • Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association                $49,205,705
  • Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc.                                        $14,666,971
  • Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture                  $10,884,260
  • Results Driven Agriculture Research                                      $63,763,914
  • L’Union des producteurs agricoles                                          $34,168,466

Two organizations from the initial 13 have completed their projects as of April 1, 2024:

  • ALUS Canada                                                                               $714,454
  • Canola Council of Canada                                                          $17,383,969

Related: Auditor General gives AAFC a failing grade on climate action initiatives 

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