Canada, Ontario government commit $11.5 million to support farmers
By Bree Rody
The Federal and Provincial Governments of Canada and Ontario have pledged up to $11.5 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to assist meat processors and farmers, including livestock producers, to adjust to current market challenges (including those brought on by COVID-19).
For meat processors, a program committing up to $4 million (up to $150,000 per project) will address improvements to product handling and processing equipment, as well as assisting with consulting and engineering costs associated with planning future projects. Applications open this Friday (Dec. 4). Eligible projects must be completed, with equipment delivered by March 1 (equipment must be installed by May 31).
Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, addressed the new challenges presented by COVID-19 on the livestock sector, and stated that the funding program would help increase productivity and capacity for farmers who might be struggling.
Additionally, last week Hardeman announced a new application intake under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that would provide up to $7.5 million for supporting farmers making enhancements to their operations. Projects that can be eligible for funding include developing a product that will open new sales markets for a farm business, investing in new technology and equipment to enhance productivity and improving food safety systems. The new intake, delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, will open Dec. 9.