As of next spring Canadian businesses operating in the agriculture and agri-food sectors will benefit from three new federal funding programs, the government announced Friday.
“These new Growing Forward 2 programs will build on the success of existing programs to provide more streamlined support to the sector to help it remain a world leader in agricultural innovation and trade,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “We are making sure farmers and the entire sector have the tools and resources they need to stay ahead of the ever-changing demands of consumers.”
The new programs will be offered under the recently announced five-year, $3-billion Growing Forward 2 Agreement between the federal government and the provinces. The agreement is a revision of the government’s existing Growing Forward initiative, which aims to create a profitable and innovative Canadian agricultural industry.
The AgriInnovation Program will provide funding to support the development, commercialization and adoption of new products and technologies. The program will be administered under two streams: industry-led research and development, and commercialization.
Under the first stream, applicants can receive non-repayable contributions and access Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research scientists and experts to work on research and development projects. Under the second stream, applicants can receive repayable contributions to support the demonstration, commercialization and adoption of innovative products and services.
The second initiative, the AgriMarketing Program, will assist the Canadian agriculture industry in adopting assurance systems, such as food safety and traceability. It will also provide financial support for producers seeking to maintain international markets or seeking to expand to new markets through marketing and promotional activities.
The government has indicated that the third program, AgriCompetitiveness, will help the sector adapt to changing domestic and international market trends. Additional information on this program will be available in the new year.
These three new programs will come into effect on April 1, 2013, but applications will be open prior to the official launch. Interested parties can apply immediately to the AgriInnovation program, and applications to the other two programs will open in early 2013.