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AAFC launches new methane reduction challenge

AAFC launches new methane reduction challenge

The government will award up to $12 million to innovators

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A new initiative from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is designed to support Canadian innovators with ideas on how to reduce methane emissions from cattle.

The Agricultural Methane Reduction Challenge will award up to $12 million to support low-cost and scalable projects.

“At the forefront of agricultural sustainability, our cattle industry in Canada are setting global benchmarks,” Francis Drouin, the parliamentary secretary to Minister MacAulay, said in a statement. “The new Agricultural Methane Reduction Challenge will drive further innovation in the sector to help fulfill a growing demand from consumers who are asking for Canadian sustainable beef and dairy industries.”

The methane reduction challenge will operate in multiple phases.

In stage one, up to 20 projects will receive up to $250,000 each to support the development of a technology, practice or process that helps reduce emissions.

In stage two, up to 10 finalists will receive up to $500,000 each to test their solutions.

In the third and final stage, up to two prizes of $1 million each to innovators who best demonstrate their ideas and solutions.

At the end of each stage, an external review panel will determine which applicants move forward in the challenge.

The application deadline is Feb. 7, 2024.

AAFC expects to announce its 20 semi-finalists in Summer 2024.

Members of Canada’s ag sector are pleased with the government’s support for methane reduction initiatives.

“Dairy farmers’ progress in terms of reducing our carbon footprint is in large part because farmers embrace innovation and research,” David Wiens, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, said in a statement. “They do not shy away from applying new technologies and progressive ideas on their farms in order to improve their production and to protect the land and the environment. The Challenge announced today will add to our toolbox and help us on our journey towards reaching net zero 2050.”

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