Dec 22, 2021
Canada invests $300K in organic prairie ag development
Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau on December 21 rolled out $297,330 for the Prairie Organic Development Fund to help farmers adopt best practices in organic farming production.
The Prairie Organic Development Fund (PODF) program manager Marla Carlson said the investment “will accelerate the adoption of organic best practices among farmers and increase the supply and quality of organic grains, fruits and vegetables, and livestock, fostering the expansion of the Canadian organic food processing sector.”
PODF is a not-for-profit organization nationally working to enhance the development and growth of organic agriculture across Canada.
This investment will help PODF deliver its Canada Organic Ingredient Strategy, which transfers specialized skills, knowledge and best practices to existing organic farmers and those interested in adopting more organic production methods, according to a news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. PODF will also raise awareness and understanding about the benefits of organic farming to help strengthen public trust in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system.
“As consumer interest in organic food continues to grow, we need to ensure that our farmers have the knowledge and skills to meet that increasing demand,” Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a news release. “This investment will help grow the Canadian organic agriculture sector and address market demands by providing support to farmers who want to incorporate more organic farming techniques in their operations.”
Through this project, PODF will offer business extension tools and skills development to farmers across Canada through producer conferences and webinars, podcasts, online agronomic tools and training to support the adoption of organic best practices. The funding announced Dec. 21 is being provided through Canada’s federal AgriCompetitiveness Program.
Canada’s organic farming sector is valued at $8 billion and is the sixth-largest in the world. Demand for organics in Canada is increasing at a rate of 8.7% annually, and despite increases in Canadian organic production, the growth in global and Canadian markets continues to outpace supply, according to the news release.
Above, in this 2020 file photo, Canada Minister of Ag & Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau speaks with then-U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Photo: Lance Cheung/USDA