The Government of Ontario has announced three new funding programs to support Ontario’s agri-food and agriculture sectors.
The Government of Ontario, in cooperation with the Government of Canada, is expanding its support to the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The new investments into this program will support agri-food and agriculture by addressing shortfalls in the labour force, advancing research and innovation, and supporting on-farm investments.
The first of these investments will see $10.2 million dedicated to supporting the agri-food and agriculture sector’s adoption of on-farm strategies toward business growth and job creation. Agri-food employers and farmers can leverage these funds to improve operations, strengthen food safety and animal health protocols, and develop products that will allow them to access new markets. Funding applications for this program open on November 15 and close on December 6, 2021.
An additional investment of $1.5 million focuses on addressing labour force challenges in the agri-food and agriculture sectors. Even before the pandemic, this sector experienced a significant shortfall of available workers. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council estimated that 16,500 agricultural jobs were vacant in 2017. The CAHRC further projects this figure will grow to 123,000 by 2029. Any projects approved under this funding umbrella must be completed by September 30, 2022.
Ontario will also see an additional $2.76 million investment to develop more than 21 agri-food research projects. These projects have a common focus on reducing food waste, improving the training of workers in food processing, and improving how plant viruses are detected as a means of improving overall plant health and food security.
For additional information on how the City of Hamilton supports the agri-food, agribusiness, and food processing sectors, please visit this page.