Government of Canada invests in the adoption of sustainable practices and clean technologies in agriculture

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Recognizing that farmers are key players in reducing greenhouse emissions, the Government of Canada is investing to help them in the adoption of clean technologies and sustainable agricultural practices.

At their visit at Ferme Roflamme Inc. in Saint-Hyacinthe, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, emphasized the Government of Canada’s proposed investments to help Quebec farmers build climate change resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Minister Bibeau highlighted the federal partnership with three organizations for the delivery of funding under the On-Farm Climate Action Fund to farmers in Quebec.

  • L’Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), in collaboration with Producteurs de grains du Québec: up to $19 million to support Quebec farmers to adopt beneficial management practices for cover cropping and nitrogen management.
  • Canadian Forage and Grassland Association: up to $10 million to support Quebec farmers as well as farmers across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to plan and implement rotational grazing practices.
  • ECOCERT Canada: up to $4.5 million to help certified organic farmers in Quebec and across Canada to adopt beneficial management practices for cover cropping and nitrogen management.

These administrators will distribute the funding following a call for individual applications. Activities supported through the Fund are expected to reduce GHG emissions by up to 2 million tonnes by 2024, while improving the health and resiliency of farmers’ soil.

In addition, the Government of Canada will invest $1.9 million to support nine projects across Quebec, including Ferme Roflamme, under the first phase of the Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program. This initiative encourages the development and adoption of clean technologies and helps farmers boost their long-term competitiveness. This funding is focused on three priority areas: green energy and energy efficiency; precision agriculture; and the bioeconomy.

As part of the Emissions Reduction Plan launched earlier this week, the Government of Canada has committed over $1 billion in new funding to accelerate the agriculture sector’s progress on reducing emissions and remaining a global leader in sustainable agriculture.

These new measures aim to reverse the sector’s emissions since 2005 and reduce net emissions in the future. These efforts should represent a reduction of up to 13 Mt, which is a decrease from 72 Mt in 2005.

Canada is particularly well positioned to sustainably feed a growing global population. This will be achieved by investing in research and innovation, increasing the number of farmers who are adopting beneficial management practices and facilitating their access to clean technologies.

Quotes

“Climate change is having a significant impact on agricultural producers and they are committed to doing what it takes to mitigate its effects. Our government is making significant investments in a variety of agri-environmental programs to help them become more resilient and reduce their environmental footprint. By supporting them financially in adopting best practices and acquiring equipment that reduces emissions, we are giving ourselves the means to reach our goals by 2030.”

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Farmers are on the front lines of climate change, and we are making record investments to ensure a truly sustainable future. The new sustainable practices and clean technology programs we are rolling out will give Quebec farmers the boost they need to make their operations more competitive and more energy-efficient, while reducing polluting emissions. Our government has always had the backs of Quebec farmers and we will continue to collaborate to drive great environmental sustainability in the sector.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Our government believes that a strong economy and a healthy environment go hand in hand. Through investments in local projects, such as the new grain dryer at Ferme Roflamme, we help farmers develop and implement responsible farming practices to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. Taking immediate action against climate change is key to stimulate the economy of today and tomorrow, and set the foundation for a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.”

– The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

“The investment announced today confirms the strategic role of agriculture in the fight against climate change. It is also in line with the increased support that Quebec and Canadian farmers have been requesting for many years to ensure the competitiveness of farm businesses and to meet the increasingly high expectations of society.”

– Martin Caron, President, l’Union des producteurs agricoles

“Canadian Forage and Grassland Association has long advocated for recognition of Canadian agriculture’s opportunity to provide nature-based solutions to climate change. The goals of the OFCAF program mirror the outcomes of targeted scientific and extension work that the association has undertaken over the past five years. This investment by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will empower forage producers across the country to prioritize and deploy climate-smart management practices to improve farm resilience and work on behalf of all Canadians to stem the impacts of climate change. Working across multiple sectors and ecoregions, our organization believes that collaborative approaches for program delivery will provide the greatest impact and yield long-lasting benefits.”

– Chris Martin, Chair of the Board of Directors, Canadian Forage and Grassland Association

“Organic farms across the country are committed to a method of production that promotes soil health and responsible stewardship of the planet’s resources. ECOCERT Canada is pleased that the Government of Canada is recognizing these efforts by providing the organic sector with financial support through the On-Farm Action Climate Fund. ECOCERT Canada looks forward to assisting the farms that will participate in the program in improving their carbon footprint, through training and introduction to new agronomic practices recognized by the program.”

– Sébastien Houle, Director General, ECOCERT Canada

Quick facts

  • Released on March 29, 2022, the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps to Clean Air and a Strong Economy includes added federal investment of over $1 billion in the agriculture sector to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.
  • The On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) is part of the Government of Canada’s Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) program to help farmers tackle climate change, and falls under the $4-billion Natural Climate Solutions Fund managed by Natural Resources Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  • Today’s Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) program announcement is part of the first wave of approved projects under this Program, which will help farmers boost their long-term competitiveness while cutting emissions.
  • In addition to the OFCAF and the ACT program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada launched the $185-million ACS – Living Labs stream in 2021 to support carbon sequestration and GHG emission reduction.
  • Projects and final funding are subject to negotiation of a contribution agreement.
  • Canada has joined over 120 countries in committing to net-zero emissions by 2050, including all other G7 nations (United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan).