Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canada’s dairy sector is vital to the economy, adding over $20 billion in 2017 and directly creating over 40,000 jobs and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs indirectly, particularly in rural Canadian communities. Canadian dairy farmers know the importance of ensuring their operations remain modern and competitive so they can continue to get their high-quality products to kitchen tables across Canada. The Government of Canada is supporting dairy farmers as they find new ways to improve productivity and efficiency in their operations.
Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced that starting January 7, 2019, requests for funding will be accepted under the second and final phase of the $250-million Dairy Farm Investment Program. Dairy farmers will have until February 8, 2019, to apply for Phase II funding, valued at $98 million. The program will now have a two-stage application process involving a pre-selection step, which, if an applicant is selected, will be followed by the submission of a full application. This new process will give all applicants an equal opportunity of being selected for funding. Projects will be eligible for a contribution of up to $100,000. Between 1,000 – 1,500 projects are expected to be funded in Phase II. A number of changes to Phase II of the Dairy Farm Investment Program were developed following consultations with industry and feedback from farmers.
The Dairy Farm Investment Program, originally launched in August 2017, aims to help Canadian cow’s milk producers improve productivity through upgrades to their barn technology and equipment. Of the 11,000 dairy farms in Canada, over 2,500 applied to the program under Phase I. Over 1,900 projects were funded, with an average of over $68,000 per project. Approximately 75% of applicants were approved for funding. Projects received funding for upgrades such as automatic feeding systems, robotic milking systems, and herd management equipment.
The Government has also announced the formation of new working groups to develop mitigation strategies to fully and fairly support farmers and processors to help them adjust to the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
“We understand the importance of a strong dairy industry, and our Government strongly supports and is committed to maintaining Canada’s supply management system. Through investments made under this program, we are ensuring that dairy farmers across the country can make important upgrades to their operations, helping them continue to contribute to our economy and middle-class growth.”
– Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- The Dairy Farm Investment Program is a $250 million, five-year federal investment, launched in August 2017. The program is designed to support the productivity and the competitiveness of dairy farmers through targeted contributions, and help the sector adapt to the anticipated impacts from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
- There will be a two-step application process for phase II. First, applicants will have five weeks to submit a request for funding. Applicants will be selected at random from this process and invited to submit a full application form. This new process replaces the first come, first served process used for applications during phase I of the program.
- Eligible expenditures remain the same as Phase I.
- Based on demand, the program will strive to support investments in all provinces over the five-year life of the program, approximately in proportion to their share of the total milk quota.
- In order to ensure as many farms as possible are able to benefit from this initiative, for the second intake period of the program, priority will be given to farms that have not already received funding.