The federal and provincial governments have committed $25 million to help expand the production capacity and improve energy efficiency in the agriculture and food sector through the Agri-Tech Innovative Initiative. This program will allow farmers and processors to invest in technology, equipment, or processes that will help achieve these goals.
According to Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs and Huron-Bruce MPP, the Agri-Tech Innovative Initiative aims to keep Ontario farmers and processors leading by example. The hope is that the program will also help save consumers money by driving efficiencies and greater production for both farmers and processors. This will ultimately lead to better cost of production and have a positive impact across the entire value chain.
The program will focus on awareness over the next few months and will begin accepting applications on February 15, 2024. The Agricultural Adaption Council will manage the application process on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
Under the Agri-Tech Innovative Initiative, projects up to $100,000 will be eligible for a cost-share up to 50 percent, while larger projects will be eligible for a 35 percent cost-share, up to $100,000. This financial support aims to incentivize and facilitate investments in technology, equipment, and processes that improve energy efficiency and production capacity in the agriculture and food sector.