New federal ag program announced

 

Six federal programs designed to get new agriculture and food projects up and running and support the existing industry launched Feb. 13.

Lawrence MacAulay chose Canada’s national agriculture day to set the $3-billion ball rolling down a five-year lane.

Included in the federal minister’s announcement were $2 billion in federal and provincial cost-shared programs and $1 billion in purely federal initiatives.

Agriculture Canada has broken the investment into six programs: marketing, scientific development and discovery, innovation of processes and products, diversification of the participants, assurance of quality and buyer confidence and competitive advantages.

“Our government has identified agriculture and food as a key driver for our society,” he told an Ottawa press conference.

The government refers to the new programing as a partnership “ with a shared vision for our sector.”

So far only Ontario has signed on to the deal and negotiations are ongoing with the rest of the provinces and territories.

Because the new programs also replace existing agricultural development systems the government expects to sew up the arrangements by April 1.

“We didn’t want any lapses in programing in Canada, so we will be ready to go by April 1,” said the minister.

The new initiatives are open for business now and accepting applications from farmers and industry looking to enter into partnership with the government to enhance the agriculture and food industries.

In its last budget the federal government targeted $75 billion in agriculture and food exports by 2025. Currently, without seafood, Canada exports about $56 billion, seafood is about $6.6 more.

The minister suggested that meeting that goal would require a lot of “new projects and thinking from the industry.”

The new federal five-year programs:

AgriAssurance – A $74-million federal initiative to foster pubic trust through enhanced production systems that provide credible standards of quality and traceability, including auditable tools.

AgriDiversity – A $5-million program that will expand the diversity of the participants in the sector, increasing representation from women, youth, indigenous people and those with disabilities.

AgriCompetitiveness – $20.5-million for building capacity in the industry, including farmer-focused seminars on best practices, safety, business and the development of tools and activities to raise agricultural awareness.

AgriScience – $338-million towards discovery and applied science that accelerates innovation and supports pre-commercialization activities. This includes funding for research clusters and short-term projects.

AgriInnovate – $128-million for the advancement of innovative tools, products and technologies that increase competitiveness and sustainability.

AgriMarketing – $121-million towards improved global marketing by funding national industry associations’ activities or those of small and medium-sized businesses promoting their products.

The federal and provincial programs will include a $297-million initiative to grow trade, a $690 million innovation and sustainability program and a diversity project that has budgeted $166.5 million to enhance the diversity of representation in the sector and create regional programs that increase public trust in the industry.

All-told the five years of programing will target $686.6 million towards federal programs, $467 million for activities within the sector, $950 million for innovation and scientific research and infrastructure development and a further $1.2 billion from the government’s Strategic Innovation Fund.

“They are are innovating (in agriculture and food) all over the world and we have to keep up,” said MacAulay.

“Look online and see if these programs fit your business or organization. Every farmer innovates. But the world is telling us we have to deliver more… If you are not on the cutting edge you are not going to be in,” said the minister.

 

mike.raine@producer.com

About the author

Michael Raine Saskatoon newsroom's recent articles

Comments

  • ed

    Actually, it would be far better if not one tax payer dollar was put into agriculture. It only helps create the fraudulent slave labor food production system that we have today. This leads to vastly increased consumer food prices and increased human starvation levels around the world. Great for the five or six families on the globe that control it however. They are in ever decision making room around the world so it stands to reason that they would control it. They have alot of stolen agricultural money to do it with. More power to them right.

    • Harold

      I agree. The Government does not own a single cent of the Money it receives from taxpayers or the money government borrows on our behalf (it is our money in trust) and therefore they spend it just as they would spend someone else’s money – and not their own.
      In the private sector, if a company wishes to increase in future profits, they may enroll their staff in extra training courses at the company’s expense to achieve that future goal. In the same light, our government is giving Taxpayer dollars to the Universities which will in turn increase the future time profits of what are now the richest corporations on the globe who are the true beneficiaries of those tax dollars. It is good to have your buddies in the government saving your corporate wealth by placing the burden on the tax payer and not to mention the very burden on the students themselves. (Student loans) The corporate should be funding all of the universities and not the Taxpayer; the tax payer already funds K -12. I see the Government as being the free ride of the wealthiest corporations of the globe. On a side note, did someone say that “Organic” was expensive?
      The 3 billion Dollars that the government just doled out is 3 billion dollar loss that we taxpayers have to pay back to the government next year. With spending like this, our taxes will go up and up and up and to this event we are soothed by the government and their rock-a-by lullaby of fair taxation. I wonder when Canadians will wake up and realize that not all taxation is fair taxation and not all spending is fair or justified spending and then take our Government to task.

  • ed

    Good.

explore

Stories from our other publications