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Feds invest $50.3 million in Canadian ag

Feds invest $50.3 million in Canadian ag

Industry members can use the funding to address new challenges and opportunities 

Staff Writer
While celebrating Canadian Agriculture Day, the federal government announced the new Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP) yesterday.
The $50.3-million investment in CASPP over the next five years “focuses on four priority areas: adoption of new technology; environmental sustainability; strategic development and capacity building; and emerging issues,” a government of Canada release said yesterday. Lawrence MacAulay, minister of agriculture and agri-food, made the announcement in Ottawa.
Potential CASPP projects involve artificial intelligence technology, bio-crops, tools needed to analyze future skills and labour requirements, and environmental farming practices to assist the sector in adapting to changing consumer preferences. 
The funding will help Canada’s ag industry improve its competitiveness and sustainability, Ron Bonnett, Canadian Federation of Agriculture president, told today.
“There’s money available for innovation, sustainability initiatives, looking at partnerships, and things like that, that I think will help Canadian agriculture deal with some of the issues coming forward,” he said.
“There are a lot of areas where (this funding) can really help.”
The CASPP program builds on other federal initiatives that contribute to sustainability and competitiveness in the ag industry. These efforts include:
the $3-billion Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to enhance the agriculture and agri-food sector
the “$70 million announced in Budget 2018 to support agricultural discoveries in science and innovation to address climate change and soil and water conservation” 
the $25-million Agricultural Clean Technologies Program, a three-year investment that works to support the research, creation and adoption of clean technologies by investing in and promoting precision ag and agri-based bioproducts 
the Strategic Innovation Fund, which aims to simplify application processes, speed up processing, and provide responsive assistance to grow Canada’s economy
The CASPP program will replace the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program. Applicants can apply to the program online at any point until the feds have allocated all available funding. Only national projects or projects dealing with cross-sectoral issues are eligible.
Updated Feb. 14, 2019
PointImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo 


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