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December 6, 2012

AFC Investigates Investment Gaps in Alberta Ag Sector

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The Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta (AFC) is leading the Investigation of Funding Programs in Alberta (IFP) in order to better understand the agriculture and food sector’s need for financial investment, as well as identify possible gaps and opportunities.

“A clearer picture of where the sector is heading and the types of financial investment that will best meet its requirements has been sorely needed for quite some time,” said AFC Chair Heather Broughton. “The benefits of this project include enabling the agriculture and agri-food sector to clearly define research capacity and financial needs, while outlining opportunities to attract agriculture resource investment.”

The IFP project will evaluate the funding programs that are currently available in the agriculture and agri-food sector, including: Funding sources and programs; longevity of programs; trends; program requirements; and guidelines.
Through industry consultation and other means, the project will also investigate and take into consideration the potential future funding trends that the sector may experience. In addition to the state of the current funding programs, this will ultimately provide an all-encompassing view on the future direction of the sector. The report will provide recommendations for a funding model and/or program that would best serve the needs of the sector in the future.

“Investment in agriculture research is changing,” Broughton added. “There has been a drastic decline in agriculture research investment in North America. From conversations with AFC proponents, it has become evident that the current investment in agriculture research is fragmented, leading to a researcher spending more time learning and applying to several different funders, rather than spending the time developing and working on projects.”

Project funding in the amount of $73,000 was provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program.

The Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta (AFC) has a vision to be an innovation and breakthrough catalyst for Alberta’s agriculture and food sector. AFC operates targeted programs and initiatives in support of the development of the agriculture sector, and also inspires industry leaders to identify important issues affecting the sector and propose viable solutions by providing a forum for discussion.

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