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Canada unveils details of Federal Growing Forward 2 Programs

About 500 million dollars to help industry improve its capacity to adopt assurance systems and to help the sector adapt to rapidly changing and emerging global and domestic opportunities and issues

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced the details of the AgriMarketing and AgriCompetitiveness Programs under Canada's new agricultural policy framework Growing Forward 2. These programs complement the AgriInnovation Program which was unveiled in December, 2012.

The AgriMarketing Program, which comes into effect on April 1, 2013, is now accepting applications. The new program – a five-year, $341-million initiative -- is designed to help industry improve its capacity to adopt assurance systems, such as food safety and traceability, to meet consumer and market demands. It will also support industry in maintaining and seizing new markets for their products through branding and promotional activities.

“Our Government knows the importance of innovation and trade to the agriculture industry which is why, we made market development a cornerstone of Growing Forward 2,” said Minister Ritz. “By focusing on proactive and cost-effective investments, Growing Forward 2 will give producers the tools they need to compete in markets in Canada and around the world.”

The new $115-million AgriCompetitiveness Program will make targeted investments to help the sector adapt to rapidly changing and emerging global and domestic opportunities and issues, respond to market trends and enhance business and entrepreneurial capacity. The AgriMarketing and AgriCompetitiveness Programs are in addition to the $698-million AgriInnovation Program which will focus on investments to expand the sector’s capacity to develop and commercialize new products and technologies. The AgriInnovation Program began accepting applications in December, 2012. All three programs come into effect on April 1, 2013.

Growing Forward 2 represents a $3-billion investment over five years in strategic initiatives for innovation, competitiveness and market development, in addition to a full and comprehensive suite of business risk management programs that will continue to help farmers withstand severe market volatility and disasters. Application-based and targeted investments in these three priority areas are critical to facilitating the sector's expansion and to increasing productivity, growth and jobs.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is also improving service delivery through better program design and streamlined administration, as outlined in Economic Action Plan 2012. This will make it easier for applicants to access programs and report results from federal investments.

For more information on Growing Forward 2, including the AgriCompetitiveness and AgriInnovation Programs, please visit Growing Forward 2 (www.agr.gc.ca/GrowingForward2).

by S. C.
04 february 2013, World News > America

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