Governments kick in cash for B.C. farmers, food processors

Ottawa, Victoria contribute $14 million over five years to help develop new products, processes

Farmers and food processors in B.C. will have $14 million in federal and provincial government support over the next five years, to help them develop new products and processes that will support food production in B.C.

B.C. farmers are already using computerized sensors, drones and wireless technology to monitor the growth and condition of their crops and livestock. They are also experimenting with new varieties of traditional crops and growing experimental ones, such as quinoa, wasabi and tea.

The Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program encourages entrepreneurs and tech-leaders in B.C. by supporting projects that advance innovation and competitiveness, including:

* investments in applied science for major sector commodities;

* improved support for minor sector commodities and emerging/transformative areas including agri-tech;

* enhanced efforts in clean growth, environment and climate change;

* accelerating the growth of the sector, particularly in the agrifood and value-added food processing sectors; and

* strengthening knowledge transfer and adoption.

Applications and program criteria are available at http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/innovation/

The program will run for the duration of the five-year Canadian Agriculture Partnership, a federal-provincial agreement that includes $2 billion in cost-shared strategic initiatives delivered by the provinces and territories, and $1 billion for federal programs and services through March 2023.

The partnership replaces Growing Forward 2, which ended March 31.



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