From the Editor: Aiding greenhouse innovation
February 6, 2023 By Andrew Snook
While putting together the 2023 sector outlook for the January issue of Greenhouse Canada, I ended up having the wonderful problem of having too much information to place into the article.
One of the interviews I was not able to fit into the sector outlook was with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), where I had asked a few questions related to recent initiatives and projects that have gotten underway to support greenhouse operators with growing their operations in the coming years.
The AAFC was kind enough to provide a few examples of such support, so I thought I would share a few of them.
One example of a recent initiatives to support the greenhouse sector is the AAFC’s AgriScience and AgriInnovate programs, funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a $3 billion, five-year (2018 to 2023) investment by federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments, which was made available to indoor farming system developers and users.
“The AgriScience program aimed to accelerate the pace of innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadians, while the AgriInnovate Program supported projects that aim to accelerate the commercialization, adoption and/or demonstration of innovative products, technologies, processes or services that increase agri-sector competitiveness and sustainability,” the AAFC stated, again adding that the intake period for both programs is now closed.
The Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program is another interesting initiative that could benefit greenhouse operations (while not specifically designed for the sector). The ACT Program offers support for the development and adoption of clean technology that will help drive the changes required to achieve a low-carbon economy and promote sustainable growth in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector, the AAFC explained:
The ACT Program offers support under two streams:
Research and Innovation Stream: Supports pre-market innovation, including research, development, demonstration and commercialization activities, to develop transformative clean technologies and enable the expansion of current technologies
Adoption Stream: Supports the purchase and installation of commercially available clean technologies and processes with a priority given to those that show evidence of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and other environmental co-benefits
Due to high demand, the Adoption Stream is currently not accepting new applications; however, the feds added $330 million to the ACT Program this past March to scale up the development and adoption of clean technology in the sector. The AAFC stated that details on this program will be available in 2023.
To learn more about the ACT Program, visit: https://agriculture.canada.ca/en/programs/agricultural-clean-technology-adoption-stream.
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