The Ontario government is investing up to $2 million over two years in the Fertilizer Accelerating Solutions & Technology Challenge. This funding will support made-in-Ontario solutions to increase the availability of fertilizer options, alternatives and technology, ensuring farmers have the tools they need so that Ontarians can rely on a safe and stable food supply.
“We have heard from farmers that action must be taken to increase the domestic supply of fertilizer options. Our government has listened and is introducing an initiative that will generate made-in Ontario alternatives to help farmers secure the inputs they need to succeed, and to support innovative, technology-based solutions to grow the agri-food sector,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Ensuring that farmers have the tools and products they need to grow good food is vital to the sustainability of Ontario’s food security and keeping the province as a world leader in food production.”
Following consultations with farmers and the agri-food sector, Ontario is launching the Challenge to address the ongoing supply chain challenges for fertilizer, while promoting innovation in the province’s agri-food sector. The Challenge is a competitive opportunity for agri-businesses and organizations that will focus on investing in projects, such as new solutions like biofertilizers, that can help reduce dependency on imported products.
This investment will encourage both immediate and long-term innovative solutions to help meet Ontario farmers’ fertilizer needs by accelerating the development of new and alternative products for the agri-food sector.
This important investment, together with additional investments and opportunities the province has made to support farmers, will help support the province’s position as a world leader in food production and ensure that Ontarians have a safe and stable supply of food.
- Details on the Challenge and project guidelines are available at Ontario.ca and on the Bioenterprise website. Applications for eligible applicants will be accepted beginning on October 5, 2022, until November 2, 2022.
- The Challenge will be delivered by Bioenterprise Canada, a national non-profit business accelerator that engages Ontario-based companies in funding opportunities that will bring new and innovative products to market, helping Ontario’s food supply chain and agricultural practices become more efficient and resilient.
- In 2021, Ontario farmers spent over $1.2 billion on commercial fertilizers and lime, which was applied to over 6.8 million acres of farmland. The cost of commercial fertilizers and lime increased in 2022 and is expected to stay high.
- Ontario’s agri-food sector supported more than 750,000 jobs in Ontario last year and contributed $47.6 billion to the provincial economy.
“The Ontario government’s Challenge is an important step in addressing the fertilizer challenges that grain farmers have been facing this year. The strategic investments to bring new fertilizer alternatives to market quickly will support a safe and stable food supply chain and support the success of Ontario’s grain farmers.”
– Brendan Byrne
Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario
“Ontario Agri-Business Association (OABA) and its members commend the Ontario government’s launch of the challenge as a novel approach to enable the agri-food sector to continue to build resiliency and drive innovation within the province. OABA’s crop input suppliers have a long history of bringing Ontario’s farmers the newest and proven technologies and innovations to increase both crop yield and quality. The pandemic has brought to light the need to re-focus on strengthening our domestic agri-food supply chains and the program will be an important initiative to allow agri-businesses in Ontario to accelerate new commercial product innovations that have real impacts through the supply chain and especially at the farm level.”
– Russel Hurst
Executive Director, Ontario Agri-Business Association
“Ontario is once again showcasing its support for innovation in agriculture, and the economic benefits that will necessarily follow that support. The environmental impact of reducing, targeting, or finding alternatives for traditional fertilizer inputs is not just a discussion for Ontario. We will be leading the charge on new, sustainable practices that will bolster our position in a global market, and move us that much closer to Canada’s ultimate sustainability goals.”
– Dave Smardon
CEO, Bioenterprise Canada