Budget 2023 makes investments in food and agriculture
The new budget addresses the Advance Payments Program and the Local Food Infrastructure Fund.
March 29, 2023 By Greenhouse Canada
Canada’s federal government has announced its 2023 budget, and the food and agriculture sector gets some attention.
In response to rising farm and agricultural costs in Canada, Budget 2023 is allocating $13 million to increase the interest-free limit for loans under the Advance Payments Program (APP) from $250,000 to $350,000 for the 2023 program year.
The interest-free portion of an APP loan was previously capped at $100,000 but that level was temporarily raised last summer to $250,000 for the 2022 and 2023 program years. The APP provides farmers with cash advances of up to $1 million, based on up to 50 per cent of the anticipated market value of a farm’s eligible production, whether it’s still to be produced or is already stored.
“Farm production costs have increased in Canada and around the world, including as a result Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and global supply chain disruptions,” the budget documents said. “It is important that Canada’s agricultural producers have access to the cash flow they need to cover these costs until they sell their products.”
The budget also commits the feds to consulting with provincial and territorial counterparts to find ways they can specifically help smaller agricultural producers who are disproportionately disadvantaged.
The budget also notes that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “has resulted in higher prices for nitrogen fertilizers, which has had a notable impact on eastern Canadian farmers who rely heavily on imported fertilizer.” In response, the budget proposes a $34.1 million addition to the federal On-Farm Climate Action Fund over three years, specifically “to support adoption of nitrogen management practices by eastern Canadian farmers, that will help optimize the use and reduce the need for fertilizer.”
And the budget will add $10 million to the Local Food Infrastructure Fund for the 2023-2024 fiscal year – the merit-based grant program supports projects put forward by business and other non-government organizations to build food related infrastructure like greenhouses and large community fridges and freezers.
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