New Montreal urban agriculture program connects producers and spaces
October 19, 2021 By Palais des congrès de Montréal
On Oct. 14, the Laboratoire sur l’agriculture urbaine (AU/LAB) announced the launch of MontréalCulteurs, a program that offers a combination of consulting, incubation and networking services to facilitate urban agricultural business start-ups in Montréal. The program is designed to meet well-documented needs and supports the development of urban farms, whether commercial endeavours or social economy enterprises.
The MontréalCulteurs program will provide assistance and connect property owners and property managers who have an empty space at their disposal – a roof, basement, commercial space, parking lot or vacant lot – with urban agriculture businesses (co-operatives, non-profits or private enterprises) looking for a place to set up an urban farm in order to grow vegetables, mushrooms, micro-sprouts, flowers or grapes, raise insects or fish, or farm bees. Urban agricultural concerns also benefit from three entrepreneurial training streams specializing in urban agriculture, a project incubator, a series of workshops and a diverse program of events (webinars, guided tours and networking opportunities) offered by urban agriculture experts.
“Over the last 10 years, commercial urban agriculture has been growing exponentially. Today, Montréal is a leader in urban agriculture and home to 45 farms – more than any other city in the world. The MontréalCulteurs program will consolidate that leadership position and provide a springboard to keep Montreal going over the next decade.” – Jean-Philippe Vermette, director of public policy and programs, AU/LABAdvertisement
MontréalCulteurs draws its inspiration from the Parisculteurs, a successful program launched by the city of Paris in 2016 to support a wide range of agricultural projects.
The MontréalCulteurs program was made possible by a partnership with the City of Montréal. It receives funding from the Québec government under the Action-Climat Québec program and meets the objectives of the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy.
“Thanks to the assistance provided, entrepreneurs will have a solid business plan to ensure their businesses’ future,” said Véronique Doucet, director of Montréal’s Service du développement économique. “Property managers who welcome these farms will be able to generate value from their under-used spaces. By supporting MontréalCulteurs, the City is encouraging the growth of an emerging economic sector that will help build a green, resilient Montréal and showcase its achievements.”
MontréalCulteurs also benefits from the know-how of the École des entrepreneurs du Québec’s Montréal campus and the expertise of L’ARTERRE, a support and twinning service established in 2016 and coordinated by the Quebec Reference Center for Agriculture and Agri-food (CRAAQ), that contributes to the vitality of Québec communities and the productive use of farmland across the province.
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