Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Adaptation program renewed

The Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program is alive, but with a much-reduced budget.

And it’s going to be first-come, first-served until the funding runs out for a program aimed at helping organizations implement good programs.

The funding will also be restricted to projects with national impact; previous programs encouraged provincial and regional initiatives.

The local administration by farm organizations, which has been consistently praised in Ontario for doing an outstanding job, has been cut out. Now the decisions will be made in the federal agriculture department in Ottawa.

In other words, the Tories will have their fingers meddling in the pie whereas before it was a coalition of farm organization leaders.

The program began with $240 million for five years, that was cut to $163 million for the next five years and now the budget is $50.3 million for the next five years.

In a news release, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says the funding will go to those who:

-      “seize opportunities” — that is, to take advantage of a situation or circumstance to develop a new idea, product, niche, or market opportunity;

 -     “respond to new and/or emerging issues” that were “unknown or not a concern before;” or

-    “pathfind and/or pilot solutions” to new and ongoing issues, meaning to investigate new ways and/or different options of dealing with such issues, or to test ideas and/or approaches to apply in the sector.