Indigenous Agricultural Development Program now accepting applications13 August 2020
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments have created a new development program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support First Nations interested in participating in the agriculture and agri-food industry.
“This program was created based on our engagement efforts with First Nation communities,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Ross Wetmore. “Our goal is to improve access to food, promote new opportunities and increase Indigenous participation in the agricultural sector. This is a great example of how we are energizing the private sector and helping to support vibrant and sustainable communities.”
The Indigenous Agriculture Development Program is open to all First Nation communities, individuals or organizations interested in farming and agricultural development in the province.
“This program is an important step towards engaging Indigenous New Brunswickers in the agri-food sector,” said Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jake Stewart. “With this kind of support in place, First Nations communities will have new opportunities to participate in farming operations, manage production and contribute to our economy.”
Applications are already being accepted. Guidelines and application forms are available online.
“This joint collaboration between the federal and provincial governments will provide an opportunity to share agricultural knowledge and enhance the viability and profitability of the agricultural sector,” said federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller. “The Canadian Agricultural Partnership will provide Indigenous people in New Brunswick with additional resources that support their involvement in agriculture, which will positively contribute to economic development in the province.”
Successful applicants will receive support to develop viable business plans and manage finances and production costs. Funding is also available for Indigenous organizations that wish to assess their competitiveness, and for any training required for their farming operations.
“There are tremendous economic opportunities in the agricultural industry, and with this program, our government is helping Indigenous entrepreneurs take advantage of those opportunities,” said federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. “Beyond creating jobs and boosting local economies, their work will build long-term resiliency in our food systems and keep high-quality locally produced food on our kitchen tables.”
Applicants are encouraged to apply to all the Canadian Agriculture Partnership programs for funding.
Signed in 2018, the national partnership is a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments that aims to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector across the country and to ensure continued innovation, growth and prosperity. Funding is dedicated towards simplified programs and services that are easy to access, as well as enhancements to help producers manage their farm. The new program intended for First Nations draws its funding from the partnership’s existing budget.
“This new Indigenous-specific program is a step in the right direction towards creating more opportunities for First Nations in the agriculture sector,” said Chief Ross Perley of the Tobique First Nation. “We are happy to see this progress, but we still have a long way to go. We are looking forward to working together to advance Indigenous involvement in the agriculture sector and improve on our food security.”13-08-20