Ontario’s 2020 budget: Spending on agriculture

Two big positives for agriculture in Ontario’s $187 billion 2020 budget are funding for rural broadband infrastructure and the Agri-Food Prevention and Control Innovation Program. The provincial government has made available an additional $680 million across four years to bring reliable internet connectivity to the province.

Over three years, the budget will clear $25.5 million to the Agri-Food Prevention and Control Innovation Program. The cost-sharing funds are available for projects to mitigate disruptions to farm business from COVID-19 through technology.

Peggy Brekveld, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s newly elected president, said she believes the funds “will help us continue to find ways to innovate and invest in new technologies” to push back against COVID-19's effects on the sector.

The budget reads that innovation funding will lead to “increased efficiencies and productivity” while supporting “resilience and long-term sustainability and growth in the agri-food sector.”

Bill George, chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, also highlighted the innovation funding as the budget’s main appeal for the agri-food sector. “There’s not a lot really other than that,” he said.

Only a small element of the budget, there’s also $5 million set out for Ontario’s struggling agricultural and horticultural societies.

Source:: https://ca.news.yahoo.com


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