By Terry Tinkess
AgriNews Staff Writer

VINELAND STATION – Farmers and the province’s wider agri-food sector will benefit from an upcoming new, five-year agreement between the federal and provincial government.

The agreement will provide a range of investments designed to help improve productivity, competitiveness, and resilience in this key area of the economy and enable the province to meet goals outlined in Ontario’s Grow Ontario Strategy. One in every 10 jobs in Ontario was related to the agri-food sector in 2021.

The governments have negotiated a Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) for Ontario that will see upwards of $1.77 billion in support for the agri-food sector over the life of the agreement. Through Sustainable CAP, $569 million will be invested in strategic initiatives. This is a 25 per cent increase over the previous funding agreement. There will also be roughly $1.2 billion for continued, demand-driven, business risk management supports for farmers.

Sustainable CAP will also boost investments in research and innovation and other strategic areas to strengthen the sector. The agreement will include the launch of the new Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program (RALP), a funding initiative to mitigate climate change and help support the agricultural sector in better addressing sustainability outcomes.

“The Sustainable CAP is a collaborative effort by the governments of Canada and Ontario to invest in sustainable agriculture, ensure the resilience of production and supply chains and grow the agriculture and food sectors in Ontario,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Building on the leadership of industry, we can seize new opportunities that will allow farmers to contribute to food security here in Canada and around the world, all while growing their businesses.”

“Our agri-food sector plays an invaluable role in this province. It is an economic powerhouse and the reliable provider of so many different, safe, high-quality, and delicious foods that we all enjoy,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This agreement will create new opportunities to make this world-class sector even stronger and position it to sustainably grow during and well beyond the term of this pact.”

The Sustainable CAP starts on April 1 and replaces the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership). The programs will support the vision and priorities the federal, provincial, and territorial agriculture ministers agreed to in 2021 in The Guelph Statement.

The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) is a five-year (2023-2028),

$3.5-billion investment by federal-provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and $2.5 billion in cost-shared programs and activities.

Details about Sustainable CAP funding opportunities and programming will be posted online as they become available.