In 2018, the federal government partnered with the provinces and territories to create a program supporting the Canadian agricultural sector to ensure our competitiveness on the world stage and retain our position as world leaders in sustainable agriculture.
In just the first four years, the total investment in the program totalled $3 billion, and in the summer of 2022, the governments agreed to increase that investment by 25%. That means more programs and more money for you if you operate in the agricultural sector. It even offers, depending on your province, workshops, e-learning resources, and business risk-management programs.
So what’s in it for your agricultural business? Again, that depends on your province or territory, so keep reading!
About Canadian Agricultural Partnership
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is composed of numerous different programs aimed at different sectors within the agricultural sphere and at supporting different needs. Business risk management is the top priority, so the program offers support in 5 areas:
Because this is a federal/provincial(territorial) partnership, the specific programs you have access to vary, but these are the base priorities and programs offered and funded by the federal government:
Now the program was originally designed to be a 5-year partnership, but in July 2022, the governments came together and agreed to continue CAP. So be aware that while the websites will all say intake is closed or the program is closed, the new CAP is set to kick off in April 2023. Keep an eye on the websites to be the first to apply for the new partnership!
How Canadian Agricultural Partnership Works
Let’s break CAP down a little further so you have a better idea of which program suits your needs best and a basic idea of what it offers.
To learn more about what each program can do for you, click on your province or territory. Each province or territory offers programs using the funds from CAP in different ways to best meet the agricultural needs of their area.
Canadian Agricultural Partnership Eligibility
Eligibility differs by program, but let’s use the AgriAssurance Program as an example of the eligibility requirements, which will vary according to the program, of course, but will still be quite similar.
First, the AgriAssurance Program is divided into 2 streams. The first, for the National Industry Association, is aimed at not-for-profits in the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products realm, such as Indigenous groups,
co-operatives, clubs and societies, and certain associations. You can also have an academic institution as a partner, though they are not eligible themselves. Also, know that you will be expected to cover 25% of your costs with this program.
The small and medium-sized enterprises stream is for small and medium-sized businesses and corporations, co-operatives, and Indigenous groups, though you must have direct involvement in growing, harvesting, and processing, have no more than 250 employees, and annual revenues below $50 million. Your business will also have to be independently incorporated, have done market research, and be market and export ready. And here, you’ll be expected to fork over 50% of project costs.
How Much You Can Get from Canadian Agricultural Partnership
Given the wide variety of funds you can qualify for depending on the program and province or territory, it’s best for you to click on your province or territory above to determine exactly what most applies to your business and the exact amount you qualify for.
However, to give you a better idea of what you might get within each program, the AgriInnovate program will give you a loan for up to 50% of your project costs to a maximum of $10 million. The AgriDiversity program offers grants for 50% of project costs up to $200k/year or $1 million/5 years. You also won’t have to contribute any more than 25% of the associated costs yourself.
The AgriAssurance program gives grants of up to $50K, representing 50% of project costs. Amounts could vary depending on whether you qualify for stream 1 or 2. Finally, the AgriCompetitiveness program also gives you grant funding to equal 50% of project costs up to $1 million/year or $5 million/lifetime.
How to Apply for Canadian Agricultural Partnership
As mentioned previously, applications to all the programs are currently closed but keep an eye on them so you can beat the rush when applications do reopen.
With the previous CAP, however, you could apply for all programs and streams online, and every program had handy links to all the forms you need, plus a helpful applicant guide. These are all still useful to help you prep for the new CAP, though, so head to the website to check it all out. Some programs were even accommodating enough to send you an application package if you emailed or called them.
A Tip to Maximize Canadian Agricultural Partnership Funding
You can often mix and match funding programs, both within CAP and without. This is a great way to ensure you get all the funding you qualify for, whether from federal, provincial/territorial, corporate, or other sources. Just make sure you’ve read all the requirements of every funding program you want to avail yourself of so you don’t inadvertently disqualify yourself for mixing and matching if you come across a program that doesn’t allow it.
That said, it’s always smart to read applicant guides when they’re offered, go through the FAQs when available, and ensure all your documents are complete before sending in your application forms.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line of this partnership is a bit different. Though CAP itself is currently not accepting new applicants, prepare your agricultural business for success by prepping your documents, financials, and plans to be ready for when the new CAP is implemented. Also, read through all the programs CAP makes available in your area so you know which ones are the best fit. Then when the program opens back up, you could find yourself with a variety of funding, most in grant form, so it pays to research and prepare!