By Jonathan Martin
Ontario’s government is adding a new initiative under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP).
The program, titled Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative, will provide cost-share funding to members of the agricultural and food value-chain industries.
Administration of the cost-share funding to sector-level organizations will transition from the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
AAC is “shocked” by OMAFRA’s decision to take over administrative duties, Kelly Duffy, AAC chair, said in a Wednesday press release.
“Every sector and every Ontarian is trying to do more with less and the AAC is part of the solution as our program delivery is widely recognized as efficient, effective and timely,” she said.
By taking over program delivery, OMAFRA will save $600,000 in administrative costs, the ministry said in its own release Wednesday. These funds will be “reinvested into the program.”
The government has not provided AAC with details outlining the use of any transitional model, AAC’s release said. The council will, however, begin looking for new funding sources.
“This decision will not impact AAC’s ability to honour our commitments with other industry partners,” said Duffy.
The CAP shares costs in ag-focused economic development projects, environmental stewardship programs and food safety systems.
The first application intake for the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative will open on Aug. 15 and remain open through Sept. 27.
OMAFRA will distribute a full outline of the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative in August, while the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association will continue to administer cost-share funding under the CAP.