Canadian dairy farmers can upgrade their operations, thanks to the second and final phase of the $250-million Dairy Farm Investment Program.
Beginning Jan. 7, the government will accept requests for funding in the second phase of the program, yesterday’s Dairy Farmers of Ontario release said. Lawrence MacAulay, minister of agriculture and agri-food, made the announcement.
Dairy producers can use the five-year program to upgrade their equipment and improve their productivity in response to predicted effects of the Canada European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Projects can earn up to $100,000 in funding.
Up to 1,500 projects could receive this grant. Farms that have not yet received funding will have priority.
The program will consist of a two-stage application process. In a pre-selection step, “randomly selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application,” the release said. The pre-selection step will ensure all applicants have an equal selection opportunity, as opposed to the previous first come, first serve process.
The program will enable dairy producers to maintain Canada’s supply management system, MacAulay said in the release.
“Through investments made under this program, dairy farmers across the country can make important upgrades to their operations, helping them continue to contribute to our economy and middle-class growth,” MacAulay said.
The program funding will help farmers address market challenges, Graham Lloyd, DFO’s general manager and CEO, told Farms.com today.
“I think it’s an opportunity to identify that Canadian dairy farmers are losing market share to subsidize European cheese. (The funding) will help provide (them with) incentive to continue their investments where they may have been reluctant to do so, given the potential future loss of markets. By doing that, (the program) continues to strengthen the Canadian dairy system.
“Canadian dairy farmers are famous for continually investing into their farms because of the supply management system. (It can be) compared to (the situation in) other countries, such as the United States, where farms are going bankrupt. So, this (program) can help stimulate some greater efficiencies and create a better competitive position for Canadian farmers.”
Dairy producers can apply for funding from the second phase of the program until Feb. 8.
For more information about the program, click here.