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AAFC’s ag adaptaton program renewed, trimmed

New five-year CAAP comes with smaller budget, no regional component

Government of Canada logo Winnipeg
(Dave Bedard photo)

Ag industry groups may now again tap into a federal grant program for projects helping the sector adapt to “emerging issues” — but those eligible will have to adapt to a smaller overall purse.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on Monday announced a renewed five-year Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), replacing the previous five-year CAAP which expired March 31. [Related story]

CAAP 2.0, so to speak, is now open, AAFC said, and applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until its funds are “fully utilized.” The program offers non-repayable contributions for “industry-led” projects helping the sector “to adapt and remain competitive.”

Where the previous CAAP, however, was funded for up to $163 million over its five-year life, and CAAP’s predecessor, the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) program, ran on a five-year, $240 million commitment, the new CAAP will get $50.3 million to last from now until the end of March 2019.

Eligible applicants for CAAP 2.0 must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements, and can include not-for-profit organizations, associations or co-operatives, marketing boards or aboriginal groups. Governments, schools and individuals are ineligible.

Where the previous CAAP and ACAAF had regional or multi-regional components, CAAP funding is now earmarked only for projects that are national or “sector-wide” in scope and help the agriculture, agri-food and/or agri-based products sector to:

  • “seize opportunities” — that is, to take advantage of a situation or circumstance to develop a new idea, product, niche, or market opportunity;
  • “respond to new and/or emerging issues” that were “unknown or not a concern before;” or
  • “pathfind and/or pilot solutions” to new and ongoing issues, meaning to investigate new ways and/or different options of dealing with such issues, or to test ideas and/or approaches to apply in the sector.

Also, where the previous ACAAF and CAAP programs partnered with industry councils to deliver funding in each province and territory, the new CAAP will accept applications through AAFC in Ottawa.

Regional adaptation councils that previously administered CAAP funds were told in the wake of the late federal finance minister Jim Flaherty’s 2012 budget that a new CAAP was to be centralized and their services no longer required. [Related]

AAFC will determine funding for projects on a “case-by-case basis,” the department said Monday. The maximum CAAP funding per project will “generally not exceed” $1 million.

An eligible applicant group can apply more than once to CAAP, AAFC said. Generally, however, for each applicant, funding will “not be more than $4 million” over CAAP’s new five-year run.

CAAP-eligible projects will see funding split 50:50 between AAFC and the applicant, which can source other government funds on its own, although total government funding for a CAAP-eligible project generally won’t run higher than 85 per cent.

The 2014-19 CAAP “complements existing investments” now provided under the federal/provincial Growing Forward 2 ag policy funding framework, AAFC said. GF2, AAFC noted, includes a $3 billion investment in “strategic initiatives that foster innovation (and) promote market development and competitiveness.”

The renewed CAAP “will allow our agriculture sector to proactively manage issues, seize new opportunities and grow the Canadian economy,” federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in Monday’s release, citing two projects funded under the 2009-14 CAAP.

The Flax Council of Canada, for example, got $4.3 million investment to work on a “critical emerging issue” — re-opening international markets in the European Union, Japan and Brazil to Canadian flax exports in the wake of the Triffid scare in 2009. [Related]

The CAAP funds “allowed the Canadian flax industry to develop and implement a comprehensive farm stewardship, export testing and market awareness program that was instrumental in reopening the export market in the EU, Japan and Brazil,” council president Will Hill said in Monday’s federal release.

Pulse Canada, for another example, got $1 million in CAAP funds to help the pulse sector “tap into a new opportunity” for turning pulse crops into “healthy, functional flour ingredients.”

CAAP funds “enabled the industry to investigate and develop optimal processing techniques to produce pulse flours for a variety of food product applications,” Pulse Canada CEO Gordon Bacon said in the same release. — Network



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