The Province of Alberta announced earlier this month that the provincial government will set aside as much as $200 million from within the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund. The funds will be directed to a number of causes including the expansion of grant programs to local applied research associations and to value-added product development and commercialization.
Province Hopes Funding will Help Alberta Gain Global Footing
The province’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Verlyn Olson was happy with Alberta’s 2014 budget, stating:
“Innovation and diversification in all of our sectors are key to Alberta’s long-term success. Nowhere is that more true than in agriculture, already Alberta’s second-largest industry. The Agriculture and Food Innovation Endowment will help us get made-in-Alberta agriculture solutions to market around the world.”- Verlyn Olson, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Included in the agriculture budget is a $17 million flood recovery program for small businesses affected by the June floods in southern Alberta. The loan program is not just for agricultural producers but is included in the agriculture budget because it is administered through AFSC. Alberta’s Livestock and Meat Agency also saw its budget increased from five million to $34 million.
Alberta Agricultural and Food Processing Industry Poised to Take Advantage of Opportunities in Global Markets
Talk of Alberta’s renewed interest in agricultural and food processing research comes on the heels of reports from the EDC that Canada’s agriculture and food exporters are poised to reap significant returns amid a strengthening global economy and a growing middle class led by China. Canadian exports to China have been increasing by approximately 16% each year, and growth is expected to accelerate in years to come. While the EDC currently pegs Canada’s primary and processed food exports at only 11% of the total goods leaving Canada each year, the industry is already being targeted by business owners and investors.
Keep Informed of Alberta Government Grants and Loans for Agriculture
To keep up to date on the announcements of Canadian and Alberta grants and loans for agriculture and agri-food sign up for our Canadian government funding weekly e-newsletter. Established small to mid-sized businesses operating in the agriculture and agri-food sector are also invited to attend a complimentary webinar.