From farm to table, the Canadian agriculture industry relies on natural resources to function. According to Invest in Canada, this sector provides 2.3M jobs and is the 7th largest food exporter globally. The government sponsors funding programs to help ensure this industry thrives and builds towards a more sustainable future. Programs such as the SR&ED tax credit exist in part to help agriculture companies adapt and update to meet today’s needs. Here are the top 6 programs that benefit the agri-sector across the country.
1. AgriInnovate Program
Furthering competitiveness and sustainability within the agriculture sector, funding from this national program goes to projects that fuel innovation. It contributes to the commercialization, adoption, and/or demonstration of new products, technologies, processes, and services. Program priorities cover the following areas:
- Clean technology
- Advanced manufacturing, automation, or robotics
- Canada’s value-added agri-sectors
- New export markets
Projects may cover one or more of the above areas and receive repayable support on an application/approval basis.
2. Agriculture Clean Technology (ACT) Program
ACT helps agriculture and agri-food sectors contribute to a low-carbon economy and align with the federal government’s climate mandate. It offers support under two streams:
- Research and Innovation: This stream supports pre-market innovation, such as research, development, demonstration, and commercialization activities.
- Adoption: This stream supports the purchase and installation of commercially available clean technologies and processes.
ACT offers several funding and cost-sharing options. Some contributions will be non-repayable, while others will be repayable over a period of time.
3. Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) Program
The ACS program aims to expedite the advancement of on-farm practices that address climate change. This program focuses on the co-development, testing, adoption, and monitoring of beneficial management practices (BMPs). ACS considers projects within the areas of carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation. ACS funding provides the following:
- Step 1: Grant support for building capacity, developing networks of participants, and drafting project proposals.
- Step 2: Contribution funding to implement approved proposals
Eligible agriculture organizations are required to work in partnership with a network of project participants of their choosing. Agricultural organizations eligible for funding from the ACS program include not-for-profit organizations, such as producer organizations and Indigenous groups.
4. Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (IAFSI)
The goal of the IAFSI is to amplify economic development for Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada. This program is specifically for applicants who want to expand their capacity to participate in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector or those ready to initiate agricultural and food systems projects. A few examples of eligible projects for the IAFSI include:
- Methods for producing fresh food within an Indigenous community
- Initiatives for developing food systems within an Indigenous community that expands access to healthy food and provides opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to share agricultural expertise
- Training within an Indigenous community or organization that focuses on launching or expanding agricultural operations
Funding is provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) for single- and multi-year projects. The maximum contribution is determined based on specific assessment criteria that help ensure the proposed alignment with the initiative.
5. Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program
Canadian companies of all sizes and sectors are encouraged to invest in innovative strategies. Through the SR&ED tax incentive, your agricultural business can receive the capital it needs to fund research and development in agriculture. Several agricultural sciences apply, including:
- Agriculture and forestry science
- Animal and dairy science
- Veterinary science
- And more
While the SR&ED tax credit may not apply to standard farming operations, the development of new solutions or processes could qualify. Examples include:
- Novel cattle breeding methods
- Better ways to store food
- Pest control improvements
- Fresh methods for reducing food waste
- Trials that positively impact livestock health
6. Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment Program (PEFIP)
In an effort to help businesses adapt to market changes caused by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the PEFIP program supports several on-farm investments. These include projects that increase and/or improve:
- Productivity and efficiency
- Food safety and biosecurity
- Environmental sustainability
- Methods for responding to consumer preferences (animal welfare, organic production, etc.)
Allocating funding over the course of 10 years, PEFIP supports chicken, turkey, egg, broiler hatching egg producers as well as turkey breeders. Applicants can seek funding for projects that began on or after March 19, 2019, and will be completed by March 31, 2031.
Financing Agricultural Endeavors
At Easly, we know that some projects just can’t wait. While certainly helpful, these funding options may take time to come through. Remove delays from the equation with Easly’s streamlined Capital-as-a-Service (CaaS) platform. Whether you’re in need of SR&ED or other government program financing in Canada, we can help you get started. For more information, contact us today.