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Alberta investing $40M in food, farming, and forestry innovation

ERA will provide near-term capital for challenge projects that lead to longer term economic recovery, investment attraction and job creation.

June 2, 2020   by PLANT STAFF

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is providing $40 million in funding to accelerate technology development for the agriculture, agri-food and forestry sectors.

Emissions Reduction Alberta’s (ERA’s) Food, Farming and Forestry Challenge will provide near-term capital to innovators while identifying opportunities that lead to longer term economic recovery, investment attraction and job creation.

Ideas for innovation include creating value from agricultural and forest waste, nutrient management, automation and digitization of operations, genomics, applications of alternative energy, zero carbon seeding, monitoring and detection technologies and nature based-solutions.

Alberta produces over 40% of Canada’s total cattle inventory, 33% of the country’s wheat, 32% of its canola, and half of its barley. In 2018, the agriculture and forestry sectors employed over 100,000 Albertans. Alberta’s agri-food exports increased 3% from 2017 to $11.6 billion, and forest products exports reached $4.2 billion, up 20%.

In 2017, Alberta emitted over 43 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from the agricultural, agri-food, and forestry operations sectors combined. This represents over 28% of Canada’s total emissions from these sectors.

ERA will fund up to $5 million per project. Funding is being sourced from the carbon price paid by Large Final Emitters (LFE’s) in Alberta through the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.

The application deadline is Aug. 27 at 5 p.m. (MT).

 


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