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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Governments Driving Innovation in Food Production

WATERDOWN – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $25 million, through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP), to expand production capacity and boost energy efficiency in the agriculture and food sector.


Through the Agri-Tech Innovation Initiative, funding will be provided to eligible farm and food processing businesses to help them invest in innovative technology, equipment or processes that will expand production capacity or enhance efficiency.


This investment will support the objectives laid out in the Grow Ontario Strategy of increasing the production and consumption of food grown and prepared in the province by 30 per cent by 2032 and boosting the economic impact of Ontario’s robust food and beverage manufacturing by 10 per cent.


“Through the Sustainable CAP program, we’re supporting innovation and helping farmers and producers adopt new technologies,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "By working with the province on these initiatives, we can help the sector enhance their production capacity while also improving energy efficiency to create a more resilient future for agriculture in Ontario.”


“Our government is steadfast in its support of Ontario’s agriculture and food sector and is confident in its tremendous potential for growth,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “These investments will allow established and emerging businesses to speed up efforts to optimize their operations and help in achieving the ambitious goals we have set out for the agriculture and food sector in our Grow Ontario Strategy.”


Projects will be supported under the Initiative by allocating funds for businesses to obtain innovative equipment and technology to increase productivity and efficiency. Among a variety of targeted outcomes for this funding will be projects that also enhance cyber security in the agriculture and food sector.


Innovative technology and equipment projects, up to $100,000, will be eligible for up to a 50 per cent cost-share. Larger projects will be eligible for a 35 per cent cost-share, up to $100,000 in funding.


Applications for the Initiative will be accepted starting on February 15, 2024.


Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.


Quick Facts


  • The Agricultural Adaptation Council will deliver the Initiative. More details about the initiative and its application process will be available online.

  • The Initiative builds on other previous actions the government has taken to support the sector. These include a $22-million commitment through the Agri-Tech Innovation Cost-Share Program and the $10 million Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative, offered through Sustainable CAP.

  • Building the agri-food sector’s growth, capacity and competitiveness was among the priorities set for Sustainable CAP by the federal-provincial-territorial agricultural ministers in The Guelph Statement.

  • In 2022, Ontario's agri-food industry contributed $48.8 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) to the provincial economy, increasing 4.6% from 2021. This represents 6.3% of Ontario’s total GDP.


Quotes


"The Agricultural Adaptation Council is pleased to be delivering the Agri-Tech Innovation Initiative on behalf of the governments of Canada and Ontario. Supporting Ontario businesses to invest in equipment upgrades, automation and new technology will play a key role in helping Ontario’s agri-food sector grow and remain competitive into the future."


- Doug Alexander

Board Chair, Agricultural Adaptation Council


Additional Resources


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