The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay announced the new Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), an investment of $50.3 million over five years to help the agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. The new program replaces the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program.
Funding available through this program will help facilitate the sector’s ability to address emerging issues and capitalize on opportunities.
The CASPP focuses on four priority areas: adoption of new technology; environmental sustainability; strategic development and capacity building; and, emerging issues. Examples of potential projects could include those addressing artificial intelligence technology, tools to assess future labour and skills needs, bio-crops, environmentally sustainable farming techniques and strategies to help the sector adapt to changes in consumer preferences.
Applicants may apply at any point during the life of the program, until available funds have been fully allocated.
Projects must be national in scope or deal with cross-sectoral issues. Applications for the program are now being accepted online.
The program also builds on other Government of Canada initiatives to support competitiveness and sustainability in the agricultural sector. These include the $3-billion, five-year Canadian Agricultural Partnership, $70 million announced in Budget 2018 to support agricultural discoveries in science and innovation to address climate change and soil and water conservation, the $25 million Agricultural Clean Technologies Program, and the Strategic Innovation Fund.