11:28 pm Programs
Earlier this week, the New Brunswick government and Agriculture Canada announced the New Brunswick agreement under the Growing Forward program which will provide up to $24.6 million for New Brunswick farmers, businesses and agricultural researchers for research, development and adaptation of technology in the agricultural sector.
The program which runs from April 1, 2009 until March 31, 2013 provides funding for the research, development, adaptation or adoption of new technology in the agricultural sector in New Brunswick. The goal is to improve the competitiveness, sustainability, profitability and/or self-sufficiency of the New Brunswick agricultural and agri-food sectors. Food safety, tracability and bio-security initiatives appear to also be eligible for funding under the Growing Forward plan.
With major food producers such a McCain and Ganong having a large presence in NB, look for some of them to take advantage of this available funding. Hopefully the small family famers will be able to draw up some projects which allow them to adapt technology in order to become more efficient, competetive and profitable which will ensure their stability and growth.
The costs of the program will be split at a 60/40 ratio between the federal and provincial governments which means a $14.76 million contribution from the federal government to the sector (though media releases like to quote the combined totals for better effect). Contributions through the program will only cover a portion of the research or development program (in most cases up to 50% up to a maximum of $35,000
An overview of the program is available in PDF form at: http://www.gnb.ca/0180/GuidelinesEnablingAgriculturalResearchInnovation.pdf
Growing Forward is a national program developed by Agriculture Canada which plans to spend invest $1.3 billion over 5 years. An overview of the program is available at : http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1238606407452&lang=eng.
Although NB is one of the first province to reach a funding agreement with the federal government, I anticipate that other provinces will follow with announcements of their own in order to get their portion of the $1.3 billion (okay, actually $780 millon) of federal money.