Feds invest in climate-smart agriculture

The goal will be farmer-led best practices to store carbon and fight climate change

Feds invest in climate-smart agriculture

The federal government is putting up $185 million over the next 10 years for a new Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) program.

The ACS program “aims to establish a strong, Canada-wide network of regional collaborations led by farmers and including scientists and other sectoral stakeholders,” the government said in a media release. Those stakeholders will develop and share best practices to store carbon and mitigate climate change, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in the release.

“Our government is working in partnership with farmers to develop and deploy the best practices that will fight climate change, protect our lands and waters, and deliver important economic benefits to farmers,” Bibeau said. “With significant regional collaborations from coast to coast, Agricultural Climate Solutions puts farmers at the helm of steering Canadian agriculture towards a climate-resilient future for the generations to come.”

To be eligible for the ACS program, applicants must form a large network of partnerships within a province, including with agricultural non-profits, Indigenous organizations and environmental groups.

The program will proceed in two phases. The first phase, which will launch April 1, aims to support the development of proposals focused on regional collaboration hubs by offering grants of up to $100,000.

The aim is for every province in Canada to have at least one collaboration hub. Each hub will centre on farms, where farmers and researchers can co-develop best practices, including cover crops, intercropping, converting marginal land to permanent cover, shelterbelts, nutrient management, and inclusion of pulses in rotations. Applicants will need to demonstrate their ability to engage with researchers and develop plans for knowledge transfer and adoption among their peers. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will host regional information sessions over the coming weeks.

“Together, they will develop and share management practices that best store carbon and mitigate climate change. This work will also help protect biodiversity, improve water and soil quality, and strengthen farmers’ bottom lines,” the release read.

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