Government supporting Ontario’s agri-food sector
The governments of Canada and Ontario are prodivind support for the province’s agri-food sector to enhance environmental sustainability and stewardship and to better protect our environment.
The governments have committed more than $17.6 million in 2019 to support over 690 projects and other efforts to improve environmental practices and sustainability efforts in the agri-food sector. Factoring in funding coming from businesses and other parties on cost-shared projects, this will represent a joint investment of approximately $26.4 million to achieve change in this key economic industry.
Many of these funding commitments support industry-proposed, cost-shared initiatives to achieve outcomes like reducing soil erosion and retiring fragile lands from farming production.
These investments, supported with funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership also include funding a variety of research initiatives and other projects to enhance awareness and adoption of best management practices and improve sustainability in the sector.
Some of the actions supported this year include:
The launch of the multi-year On-Farm Applied Research and Monitoring (ONFARM) project. The ONFARM project will receive up to $5.75 million for the development of a comprehensive, science-based method to measure soil health and improved understanding of Best Management Practices’ impacts, among many other activities.
Investing $3.3 million to support more than 320 cost-shared, on-farm projects under the Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS) initiative. These projects support farmers’ on-going efforts to enhance environmental sustainability and to improve water quality in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds.
Enhancing Environmental Farm Plan programming including making improvements to online processes related to updating and renewing these farm-specific plans developed in previous years.
Co-funding research projects with organizations such as the Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ecological Farmers of Ontario and the Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association to enhance soil protection and to support precision agriculture in the province.
These actions also build on and leverage other related efforts, within the agri-food industry, to benefit the environment and enhance sustainability in sector operations. Examples include initiatives targeting improved soil health, such as the industry-led 4R Nutrient Stewardship program and the pending work of the newly formed Ontario Soil Action Group. These investments will also help drive outcomes outlined in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.