Two Quebec agriculture projects receiving funding from feds
Coop Agri-Énergie Warwick and Innofibre received funding from the government
OTTAWA — On Oct. 8, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced two new projects totaling close to $900,000 under the Agricultural Clean Technology Program.
One of the investments will support Coop Agri-Énergie Warwick, the first agricultural cooperative dedicated to the production of renewable energy in Quebec, in the development of a cooperative agricultural biomethanizer plant. The plant will transform cow manure and organic residues from local industries into biomethane, a renewable natural gas. The federal government is providing Coop Agri-Énergie Warwick with up to $758,243 to carry out its novel initiative to further process the digestate produced by this eco-friendly plant, therefore enhancing its agricultural value to the benefit of its farmers’ members.
“This investment from AAFC will help us, farmers and food processors, play an active role in the fight against climate change and in the ongoing energy transition, as well as giving us the capacity to make the most of our biomethane plant,” said Urs Studhalter, president, Coop Agri-Énergie Warwick, in a prepared statement. “AAFC’s help will allow us to give a higher-value to our farm residues and reduce our need for chemical fertilizers, therefore helping our sector become more resilient.”
Innofibre, a college technology transfer center within Cégep de Trois-Rivières, will receive up to $125,400 in federal funding toward the development of agro-industrial bioproducts, including natural health products, cosmetics and household products. The products will be made from residues derived from the processing of industrial hemp and flax. This project will provide economic benefits for Quebec farmers, while promoting the development of agri-based materials in place of less environmentally-friendly alternatives, according to the government.
“The funding provided is allowing the development of high-value-added co-products using hemp and flax residues as well as low-quality fibers. Several co-products are under development on a pilot scale, including bioenergy pellets, specialty paper and composite panels,” said Jean-Philippe Jacques, director general, Centre d’innovation des produits cellulosiques Innofibre. “The results of this work will accelerate the technological development of bioproducts and create quality jobs related to the agriculture and agri-food sector.”
The Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program is a $25-million, three-year investment (2018 – 2021) which aims to support research, development and adoption of clean technologies through investments in, and promotion of precision agriculture and agri-based bioproducts.