Growing Forward 2 (GF2) is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative designed to encourage innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector through cost-share funding opportunities. It was launched in 2013 and is delivered to farmers in Ontario by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). In the first three years of the program, GF2 has funded over 2400 projects at over $24 million in cost-share.

Planning is key
GF2 encourages producers to plan ahead, by providing funding to work with qualified individuals to assess their operation and create plans, such as an integrated pest management plan. Fees of a qualified individual to complete a plan are eligible for costshare, at 50per cent up to a maximum of $2,500.

Focus on biosecurity
The project categories under the Animal and Plant Health area of focus encourage increased biosecurity. Biosecurity refers to a series of management practices designed to prevent, minimize and manage the introduction, spread, and release of plant pests. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) worked with industry stakeholders to develop a National Voluntary Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Greenhouse, Nursery and Floriculture Sectors. The Standard provides a proactive approach to minimize the introduction and spread of diseases and pests. Producers can also use the targeted outcomes and considerations given in the Standard to assess their operation for increase risk for introduction and spread of pests. You can download the Standard here.

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