Federal government provides funding of $1.5 million to Sask. agri-food sector
by CM Staff
Minister of Northern Affairs Daniel Vandal, announced funding of $1.5 million to assist agri-food companies advancing their technologies to market adoption.
SASKATOON— As demand continues to increase around the world for food products, Saskatchewan is in a position to be a world leader in the challenge of feeding a growing global population and would benefit from an increase of agri-food exports that totalled almost $17 billion in 2020, according to a statement from Prairies Economic Development Canada.
The Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership, a not-for-profit organization established by Ag-West Bio, the Global Institute for Food Security at the University of Saskatchewan, Innovation Place and the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre, is helping early-stage companies in the agri-food sector take advantage of this opportunity.
Minister of Northern Affairs Daniel Vandal, who is responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, announced funding of $1.5 million to support GAAP in its efforts to assist agri-food companies advancing their technologies to market adoption. GAAP provides promising firms with access to facilities, training, mentorship, concierge services and investment. This funding is being delivered through PrairiesCan in Saskatchewan under the Regional Innovation Ecosystem program.
GAAP will provide early-stage agri-food technology companies with support in the form of multi-year access to greenhouses, laboratories and offices at Innovation Place, as well as sector expertise and mentorship. Facilities will include the GIFS’ Omics and Precision Agriculture platform to support plant breeding, post-harvest technologies, and drone, imaging and sensor technologies, as well as the Food Centre’s expertise and incubation suites.
Among other elements, GAAP will also provide a soft-landing program for domestic and international clients looking to establish a presence in western Canada. In addition to GAAP’s financial support, international clients may also have access to financial support through the Voyage Program, jointly funded by GAAP and Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Association
“The Government of Canada recognizes the immense potential for Saskatchewan to become an even stronger global leader in the agri-food industry and to benefit from the economic advantages of a growing global demand for food products. By helping early stage Saskatchewan agri-food companies to innovate and address the challenges that start-ups can face, we’re ensuring that they can capitalize on growth opportunities, increase their competitiveness, and create high-quality jobs that people in Saskatchewan can rely on,” said Minister Vandal in a press release.