Applications open for new greenhouse project funding
March 16, 2020 By Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (with files from Agricultural Adaptation Council)
The Ontario government has announced an investment of up to $4.5 million towards Phase II of the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII), which is now accepting applications.
The new intake will target projects in three categories: sector biosecurity, environmental stewardship, and production and market development. The types of projects that could be supported include: research, strategy development, assessments, pilots, demonstrations, education and training. Projects are expected to provide broad sector benefits through the creation of partnerships, linkages across commodities, knowledge transfer, and industry support.
Project results must provide benefit to the Ontario commercial greenhouse sector that grows or propagates ornamental and edible greenhouse crops. Projects involving cannabis or floriculture that falls outside of Flowers Canada (Ontario) regulations are not eligible.
“This is an important announcement that offers new tools and support,” said Jan VanderHout, President of the Ontario Greenhouse Alliance. “We look forward to working with the provincial government to ensure the Ontario greenhouse vegetable and floriculture sectors remain competitive into the future by strengthening investment in Ontario, creating local jobs and continuing to provide fresh, healthy product for Ontarians year-round.”
“Ontario’s flower farmers continue to support the growth of the province’s economy by creating jobs and increasing exports. The GCII presents a significant opportunity to increase the ability for Ontario’s greenhouse community to thrive, and further enhance Ontario’s economy,” said Jan Van Zanten, president of Flowers Canada (Ontario).
Administered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC), the application intake for the GCII closes June 19, 2020, and projects must be completed by November 30, 2022.
Ontario’s greenhouse sector continues to expand at an annual rate of four to five per cent, with greenhouses making up a total of 5,147 acres across the province. In 2018, Ontario greenhouse vegetable and flower growers combined had farm sales of $1.5 billion. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs estimates that approximately 65,000 direct jobs and $2.9 billion direct GDP can be attributed to Ontario’s greenhouse vegetable and floriculture industry value chain including farm, processing and retail in 2018.
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