Governments Help Ontario Farmers Bring High-Quality Products to Market
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $7.9 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help farmers improve their business operations and bring more safe, high-quality foods to markets. This funding will support more than 670 projects across Ontario for eligible farmers and agri-food businesses. "On-farm enhancements are essential to the sustainability and continuous improvement of the agriculture sector," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "Through this investment, we are supporting a range of farmer-driven projects to improve on-farm practices, strengthen the food value chain, and support public trust in farming." Examples of projects supported through this programming include:
Improving food safety systems on farms to meet or exceed international certification standards;
Planting over-wintering cover crops to improve soil health and reduce soil erosion losses;
Actions to help prevent pest damage at greenhouse operations;
Developing a product that will open new sales markets for a farm business; and
Upgrades to animal-handling equipment and improved biosecurity measures.
"Our farmers work tirelessly to supply the array of safe, high-quality agricultural products that feed our province, our country and the world," said the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "By making these strategic investments we are helping to improve the competitiveness of our agri-food sector and secure it for long-term sustainability, especially during these difficult times." "These 670 projects support farmers, rural communities, and the agricultural value chain," said Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "It's about supporting growth at the farm level, which will have positive environmental, food system, and market impacts across the Ontario agri-food sector." The funding is in addition to programming launched this year to assist the sector in meeting challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Such programming includes the launch of a portal to connect farms and other agri-food sector business with labour needs to job seekers; the creation of the Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program; and the recent investment of an additional $50 million into the Risk Management Program for this year, one year earlier than originally promised. Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to more than 2,500 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.
The Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment which includes $1 billion for federal activities and programs, and $2 billion in cost-shared programs delivered by provinces and territories on a 60-40 basis.
This cost-share funding is supporting projects in the following key priority areas:
Economic development in the agri-food and agri-products sectors.
Environmental stewardship to enhance water quality and soil health.
Protection and assurance to reinforce the foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health.
More than 670 projects were approved following a competitive, merit-based application intake that took place from January 8 to January 29, 2020.
In Ontario, cost-share programming to support farmers and other businesses through the Partnership is delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA).