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Government of Canada invests in organic adoption in Western Canada


December 21, 2021
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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On Dec. 21, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $297,330 for the Prairie Organic Development Fund (PODF) to enable farmers to adopt best practices in organic farming production. This funding will provide farmers with tools and support to incorporate organic farming practices that help meet the growing demand for organic foods in Canada.

This investment will help PODF deliver its Canada Organic Ingredient Strategy, which transfers specialized skills, knowledge and best practices to existing organic farmers and those interested in adopting more organic production methods. PODF will also raise awareness and understanding about the benefits of organic farming to help strengthen public trust in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system.

“As consumer interest in organic food continues to grow, we need to ensure that our farmers have the knowledge and skills to meet that increasing demand,” Bibeau said. “This investment will help grow the Canadian organic agriculture sector and address market demands by providing support to farmers who want to incorporate more organic farming techniques in their operations.”

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Through this project, PODF will offer business extension tools and skills development to farmers across Canada through producer conferences and webinars, podcasts, online agronomic tools and training to support the adoption of organic best practices.

This initiative will help Canadian farmers benefit from increased knowledge and skills in organic farming methods, which can improve soil health and boost farm resilience in the face of changing markets and climate change.

“This investment will accelerate the adoption of organic best practices among farmers and increase the supply and quality of organic grains, fruits and vegetables, and livestock, fostering the expansion of the Canadian organic food processing sector,” said Marla Carlson, PODF program manager. “The development of the organic sector creates opportunities for Canadian farmers and processors to meet the increasing demand for organic food domestically and internationally.”

The Government of Canada has announced over $550 million in new programming to enhance sustainability and mitigate climate change. This includes the Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) Living Labs program, which is creating a Canada-wide network of regional collaborations made up of farmers, scientists and other sector stakeholders to engage in co-development, evaluation and adoption of beneficial management practices to better store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Also under the ACS is the On-Farm Climate Action Fund stream, which will encourage more farmers to adopt and implement beneficial management practices that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration in the areas of nitrogen management, cover cropping and rotational grazing. It also includes the Agricultural Clean Technology Program, which supports the adoption and development of cleaner, more energy-efficient equipment, including grain dryers, in the agriculture and agri-food sector.