Do you have an idea for an innovative farm improvement project? The Sustainable New Agri-food Products and Productivity (SNAPP) program is accepting applications between November 9 2020 and February 12 2021.
The SNAPP program offers grants of up to $10 000 at 50% cost share for single applicants, or $25 000 at 50% for partnerships of two or more applicants.
The goal of the program is to foster the development of agriculture and food in northern Ontario. Farms, agribusinesses, non-profits, food processors, and any other legally recognized entities involved in agriculture or food production are eligible to apply.
Eligible projects for this intake can fall under one of three streams: new products, productivity enhancement, and clean tech in agri-food.
The new products stream refers to projects that allow a farmer to make products that are new to their business. Projects in this category could include purchasing processing equipment, a drill to add a new crop to a rotation, or a greenhouse or hoophouse to grow new vegetables.
The productivity enhancement stream is intended for projects that utilize innovative technologies or processes to make existing farm practices more efficient. This could include new harvesting equipment, a food packaging machine, or animal tracking technology. Essentially, anything that can increase production and decrease operating expenses.
The clean tech in agri-food stream is for projects that adopt clean technology and improve a farm’s environmental performance relative to commonplace standards. That means that rather than a project that brings a farm up to general standards, it must go above and beyond the most common environmental performance of a given industry. Projects in this stream could include hydroponic systems, renovating greenhouses to use more efficient heating or lighting, or adopting low- or no-till equipment or precision agriculture technologies.
Some other examples of projects that have been funded in the past include discs, livestock handling equipment, a tractor loader implement with a scale to accurately track cattle feeding, and a walk-in freezer to increase on-farm meat storage capacity.
The SNAPP grant is versatile and can be used for many things, but there are a few ineligible costs. Labour, for example, is not eligible. In cases where projects involve contractors or electricians, SNAPP can cover materials, but not labour costs. Some other ineligible costs include land clearing, rolling stock, and any consumables. Consumables, in this context, refer to equipment, structures, or other items that cannot be used for multiple years.
One frequently asked question about the SNAPP grant pertains to purchasing used items. Items, equipment, and machinery do not need to be new in order to be eligible for SNAPP. Applications for used equipment have been approved in the past.
Collaborations between three or more farms or agricultural entities are eligible to apply for the $25 000 grant. In order to apply for this, the project must be something that all the partners can benefit from. An example of a successful collaborative application from a previous intake was a sheep farm that produced wool and a business that turned that wool into clothing. The two businesses together received SNAPP funds to purchase a mill to speed up the process of turning raw wool into workable fibre. It should be noted that previous intake only required two partners to apply under a collaboration, whereas this current intake requires three partners.
SNAPP has outreach contacts who can answer questions and assist with applications. The outreach contact for Algoma and Manitoulin regions is Cathy Bouchard of RAIN, who can be reached at email@example.com or 705 942 7927 ext. 3135. The contact for the rest of the Northeast is Cameron Ford of NOFIA, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705 840 8533. The contact for the northwest is Cory Jones of the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre. Corey can be reached at email@example.com or 807 464 3665. Consultations and application forms in French are also available Any of the contacts listed above can refer someone to French SNAPP assistance.
More information on the SNAPP program can also be found at www.rainalgoma.ca/snapp/