The Canadian greenhouse sector is innovative and expanding, but labor issues and increasing regulations are significant pain points. Greenhouse operators may find some benefit to new government incentives aimed at increasing automation and reducing carbon emissions. However, deciding if the incentives are right for your business requires investigation.
The AgriInnovate Program provides funding for innovative technology that will make the agri-sector more efficient and sustainable. Eligible projects must show innovation in clean technology, automation, or agriculture market expansion by 2023. The program makes $3 billion available from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Applicants must bear 50% of the funding for the project but are eligible for up to $10 million in repayable funding.
The Agricultural Clean Technology Program opened more recently as part of the Canadian Government’s ‘A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy’ climate plan. This dual-stream program aims to distribute $150 million by 2028, through both repayable and non-repayable funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Emphasizing greenhouse gas emission reduction projects, this program intends to help promote the low carbon economy and sustainable growth of the agri-sector. The applicant must fund 50% of the project with grants capping at $2 million per project.
Two recently closed programs demonstrate that provincial governments are also investing in injecting innovative technology into the agri-sector. The B.C. Agritech Grant provided grants up to $500,000 and the Ontario OMAFRA Agri-Tech Innovation Cost-Share Program provided grants up to $100,000.
Is grant-funded technology worth it for you?
Government funding makes these projects tempting, however, determining the value of new technology to your business can be tricky. You need to consider your long-term goals and predict the results of new technology on your existing systems. One way or another, you will have to reduce your energy consumption and carbon emissions. Luckily, incentivized technology is just one of many ways to manage your energy usage and costs.