The Manitoba government has opened intakes for two new programs under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) that provide funding to support sustainable farming in Manitoba, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson announced today.
“Farmers are on the front lines when it comes to the impact of climate change,” said Bibeau. “By investing in on-farm environmental solutions, we can continue to grow a sustainable sector that is more resilient to extreme weather while helping our farmers reduce their environmental footprint.”
“Our government is committed to supporting our producers to be champions of agricultural sustainability, and creating opportunities to help farmers reach their business goals,” said Johnson. “These two new funding opportunities build on our previous investments and enable farmers to grow their businesses while enhancing the sustainability and growth of the sector overall.”
The Sustainable Agriculture Manitoba (SAM) program provides funding to help farmers and land managers implement cost-shared beneficial management practices that increase the environmental and economic sustainability of agriculture operations in Manitoba. Priority areas for funding include climate change adaptation and mitigation, air quality, water quality and quantity, soil health and biodiversity.
Johnson noted a variety of beneficial management practices are eligible for cost-shared funding in categories including cropland management, manure and livestock management and water management.
Practices in these categories have been developed with the goal of ensuring enhanced environmental outcomes and will support federal climate objectives, as well as provincial goals under the Manitoba Protein Advantage Strategy, the Water Management Strategy and the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan.
The deadline to apply for SAM beneficial management practices funding is June 6.
Funding for the agriculture sector is also available through the Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program (RALP), a cost-shared federal-provincial/territorial program funded under the Sustainable CAP that supports the provision of ecological goods and services by the agriculture sector, such as maintaining and restoring grasslands and wetlands on agricultural lands, Johnson noted.
Funding through the RALP: Carbon Sequestration and Grassland Resilience stream will support on-farm beneficial management practices and projects that enhance the provision of ecological goods and services, with an emphasis on projects that sequester carbon and improve sustainability and productivity through grassland management and agroforestry practices. Eligible applicants include community pastures, agricultural Crown land forage lease-holders, Indigenous farmers and communities, including First Nations and Métis, and farmers outside of watershed district boundaries. The deadline to apply for funding through this stream is June 5.
Watershed districts are eligible for RALP: Watershed Resilience programming, where the districts will collaborate with farmers within district boundaries to implement projects on agricultural land. Farmers are encouraged to contact their local watershed districts to inquire about any potential programs that may be available, said Johnson.
“Manitoba’s cattle producers have a long history of using management practices that help support the health of our grasslands, wetlands, and soil, and which provide biodiversity for many animal and plant species. These practices not only contribute to the environmental and economic resiliency of the producers, but these benefits are also felt beyond the farm gate,” said Matthew Atkinson, president, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). “MBP welcomes the federal and provincial governments’ recognition of and support for the varied ecosystem services being provided by beef producers in managing private and public lands.”
Johnson noted applicants for these environmental programs must have a valid statement of completion for an environmental farm plan at the time of claim.
“As a farmer-led group, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) fully appreciates the importance and significance of the two programs announced today around the stewardship and retention of natural infrastructure such as grasslands in the Carbon Sequestration and Grassland Resilience stream and the focus on watershed health via Watershed Resilience programming,” said Lawrence Knockaert, chair, MFGA. “When combined with the progressions and increasing want of farmers of all stripes – dairy, livestock, grain, mixed farms and others – there is great potential for farmers interested in sustainable agriculture practices around soil health, land and water management to improve the sustainability of their farms while benefiting their local communities and society.”
The Sustainable CAP is a five-year $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by provinces and territories.
More information on Manitoba programs under the Sustainable CAP is available at https://www.manitoba.ca/scap/.
News source: Manitoba government