Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program Applicant Guide

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide you, the Applicant, with information about the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP). In addition, this guide will assist you in completing and applying for program funding.

2.0 Description of the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program

The AGGP is a $27 million, five-year (2016-2021) program intended to enhance the understanding and accessibility of agricultural technologies, beneficial management practices (BMPs), and processes that can be adopted by farmers to mitigate agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada.

The AGGP will support initiatives that have the potential to lead the way to broader adoption or application of BMPs on farm and by the sector more generally. The program will support efforts to understand the potential impacts of and approaches to mitigate agricultural GHG emissions and will result in better strategies for climate change adaptation across the agricultural sector. As such, the AGGP will ultimately contribute to the mitigation of GHG emissions and other positive longer-term environmental impacts for Canada, which in turn will contribute to the Government of Canada’s commitments to the environment and to climate change.

The AGGP contributes to the Government of Canada’s continued commitment to the Global Research Alliance (GRA) on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases’ efforts to mitigate agricultural GHGs worldwide. The AGGP will promote environmentally responsible agriculture and support the development of approaches and tools that more effectively and efficiently assist the agriculture sector and its partners in mitigating GHGs. To meet this commitment, and to build on previous knowledge gained in the area of agricultural GHG mitigation options, the AGGP will focus on four priority areas (as defined in Annex E: Priority Areas and Project Examples):

  1. Livestock systems
  2. Cropping systems
  3. Agricultural water use efficiency
  4. Agroforestry

Emphasis will be placed on priorities/projects that involve conducting research to enhance GHG mitigation understanding, developing new mitigation technologies and BMPs and transferring information on these practices and technologies to enable successful adoption by farmers to mitigate GHG emissions.

AGGP projects will result in an increased understanding of the chemical, physical and biological processes that lead to GHG emissions and nutrient losses from agricultural systems (into surface water, groundwater and the atmosphere). The AGGP research will result in the development of diagnostic tools which will help to increase knowledge of agricultural practices that can mitigate and/or reduce the impacts of GHG emissions and nutrient losses.

Proponents are encouraged to collaborate in developing proposals with other stakeholders who share common interests within the program priority areas. Projects that demonstrate coordination, integration and networking in AGGP priority areas are encouraged.

Within each of the four priority areas, the AGGP will fund projects that address gaps along the innovation continuum of Research, Development and Technology TransferFootnote 1(RDT). Some priorities may have a research gap, while others may have a gap in technology development or knowledge/technology transfer.

Program Principles

AGGP projects will address, in part or in whole, the RDT continuum. Program principles (listed below) should help applicants develop their projects to meet the program’s intentions. AGGP projects should:

  1. provide science-based results from GHG mitigation research that are intellectually credible, evidence-based and/or action-oriented to advance knowledge and understanding of GHG mitigation in agriculture;
  2. develop new GHG mitigation technologies and practices that Canadian farmers can adopt to improve their environmental performance and profitability;
  3. develop, verify and validate GHG mitigation information, practices and technologies;
  4. share results to enable outputs/deliverables to be incorporated directly into technology transfer to agricultural groups and individual farmers;
  5. address gaps in the development and/or extension of agricultural GHG mitigation technologies and practices;
  6. be incremental or complementary in nature and/or build on existing information and not duplicate Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) or other’s existing work;
  7. provide information that can be shared in Canada and internationally;
  8. foster collaboration in the science community in Canada and internationally;
  9. help leverage, through the GRA, science and technology from countries and organizations that have an important or unique science capacity for Canada.

2.1 Duration

The Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program ends on March 31, 2021.

2.2 Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants must be Canadian legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements.

Eligible applicants are:

Ineligible recipients are those not mentioned as eligible, and include:

2.3 Maximum Funding Amount

The maximum funding available for a project under AGGP will normally not exceed $2 million.

2.4 Cost Sharing

Eligible costs related to a project, as defined in section 2.7 Eligible Costs, are to be shared between AAFC and the successful Applicant (and others where relevant, for example other industry supporters and other governments).

The cost-sharing ratio will be determined based on the extent to which the nature, size and merits of individual projects address program principles.

When including funds from other government sources to meet the Applicant’s share, the stacking limit must be respected. The stacking limit refers to the maximum level of total Canadian government funding (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal) a successful Applicant can receive towards the total eligible costs of a project.

The maximum level of total government funding will normally not exceed 85% of eligible costs per project.

Priority may be given to projects that demonstrate greater commitment where the applicant intends to assume a greater share of the costs.

2.4.1 Cash Contributions

When eligible costs are resourced by an approved cash outlay, they would either be eligible for reimbursement by AAFC or be part of the Applicant’s contribution to the project.

For example, if a project requires specific human resources to undertake direct project activities and an Applicant devotes existing staff with the required skills to meet that requirement, then the cost of those resources is considered a cash outlay. These labour costs would either be considered eligible for reimbursement by AAFC or be part of the Applicant’s cash contribution to the project.

2.4.2 In-kind Contributions

In-kind contributions are goods and services that are contributed to a project and that require no outlay of cash by the Applicant or industry supporter. In-kind contributions form part of the Applicant’s project share and therefore are not reimbursable by AAFC.

To be eligible, in-kind contributions:

2.5 Application Intake

2.6 Eligible Activities

Eligible activities pertaining to technology, BMPs, processes and knowledge transfer related to GHG mitigation in agriculture are of the following nature and type:

Note: Projects must be carried out (based) in Canada, however if specialized services or activities must be contracted out of Canada please provide rationale and justification.

2.7 Eligible Costs

Eligible costs are the costs directly related to the project that fall within the recognized cost categories and respect all conditions and limitations set out in this guide and the contribution agreement if the project is approved.

Eligible costs are categorized under standard cost categories for all funding projects. Eligible cost categories under the AGGP include:

Eligible costs must be presented, in the budget, under the standard categories for all funding projects, as identified in Annex B: Cost Categories.

An Applicant may use cash and/or in-kind contributions towards their percentage of contributions towards eligible costs (see section 2.4 Cost Sharing).

Note: The program start date is April 1, 2016, and in no instance will any costs incurred prior to the signing of a contribution agreement be eligible for reimbursement. Any costs incurred after the program end date, March 31, 2021, will not be eligible for reimbursement, or considered as an industry contribution towards the project.

2.8 Ineligible Costs or Limitations

Ineligible project costs are, but are not limited to, the following:

Project cost limitations are, but are not limited to the following:

Only expenses directly related to the Project activities stipulated in your CA are eligible. Expenses that do not follow AAFC guidelines are not eligible. If you are unsure about a particular expense, or if an expense is unusual, please check with your Program Officer before making a financial commitment.

Please note that prepaid expenses, such as airfares and accommodations paid in advance can only be claimed once travel has occurred.

2.9 Collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Under the AGGP, research and development activities supported by AAFC employees are not eligible and cannot be counted as part of AAFC’s or a recipient’s contribution towards the project. Should an applicant wish to collaborate with AAFC in research and development activities, a separate collaborative relationship involving AAFC personnel will have to be established.

3.0 How to Apply

Please note that the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of AAFC to provide funding for the proposed project. As an Applicant, you must ensure that you meet all eligibility criteria before submitting your application.

Mail or Email

For those applying by fax/mail or email, please see the contact information provided in section 6.0 Contact Information to obtain your Project Application Form, the AGGP supplemental questionnaire, a Project Work Plan and Budget template along with the necessary instructions.

A complete hard copy application package consists of a completed AAFC Application Form, a Project Work Plan, a Budget, the AGGP supplemental questionnaire, and such additional supporting documentation (listed in section 3.1.3 Additional Requirements) required by the program to fully assess the project’s merit to be funded.

Below is an overview of what is expected in each component of the application.

3.1.1 Work Plan

The Work Plan provides a description of all project activities and timelines, as well as overall project outcomes. Applicants must complete a Project Work Plan template for the work being performed under a contribution agreement.

Describe the activities to be undertaken under this project proposal, including a description and rationale for the proposed methodology/technical approach and associated activities, anticipated start and completion dates for the activities and any outreach and technology transfer plans.

Applicants are also required to provide project performance measures that will be used to measure the outcomes of the project. Please identify the expected outcomes and targets that will result from your project. These may include but are not limited to the following:

Outcome Performance Indicator
New GHG mitigation information and technologies are developed, verified and validated Number of technologies developed, verified and validated
Estimated reduction of GHG expected as a result of implementation for each BMP
Estimated cost of implementing each BMP
Number of recommendations made for future research
Technology transfer methodologies and approaches related to GHG mitigation targeted at farmers Number of methodologies and approaches developed
GHG mitigation information and technologies are made available to farmers Number of new activities, such as BMPs, demonstrated through field days and workshops
Increased knowledge by farmers in the areas of GHG mitigation, BMPs and technologies Number of farmers that participated in field days or workshops that demonstrate GHG mitigation BMPs and technologies

3.1.2 Budget

Applicants are encouraged to review the Annex B: Cost Categories for assistance with the categorization of costs within the Budget form.

For Project Costs set out in this Budget to be considered Eligible Costs they must fall within the recognized cost categories and respect all conditions and limitations set out in this Program Applicant Guide, whether or not the Budget is approved by the Parties. For greater certainty, these Eligible Costs must also be reasonable, reflect Fair Market Value and be directly related to the project.

AAFC guidelines will be used as a baseline for assessing eligible costs for travel and hospitality.

3.1.3 Additional Requirements

Applicants should submit the following information, where applicable, to support the completed Project Application Form, Work Plan and Budget:

Confidentiality: It is the Applicant’s responsibility to clearly identify, on any documentation submitted to AAFC, the information that is considered commercially confidential. This information will not be disclosed unless required by law, including the Access to Information Act, or upon the express authorization of the applicant.

4.0 Assessment and Approval

4.1 Assessment Criteria

Applications will be initially assessed against the following criteria:

Further in-depth assessment of the application will be undertaken and includes:

If you are successful, AAFC will provide a written decision letter outlining the level of assistance awarded and any other conditions if applicable.

4.2 Contribution Agreement

Successful Applicants who enter into a Contribution Agreement (CA) with AAFC will be referred to therein as Recipients. Recipients are required to enter into a CA that outlines the amount of funding AAFC will provide to the Recipient towards eligible costs, as well as the Recipient’s responsibilities and obligations.

4.2.1 Payments to Recipients

AAFC will make payments based on claims submitted for eligible costs incurred and paid by the Recipient in accordance with the terms and conditions of the CA. Each claim must be supported by details of the costs being claimed and certified by an authorized official of the Recipient.

Advances may be made available based on AAFC’s assessment of the project risk (see section 5.1 Risk Framework) and where need is substantiated.

4.3 Reporting Requirements

Recipients will be required to provide progress reports using forms to be provided by AAFC, describing the activities completed and progress made towards deliverables, as described in the Project Work Plan (see section 3.1.1 Work Plan).

Recipients will also be required to provide performance reports annually and at the end of projects, using forms provided by AAFC. Those reports will track progress against project performance measures.

Financial reporting will be required with each request for reimbursement of expenditures, in addition to year-end accounting and other financial reports.

Other reports may be required at AAFC’s discretion.

Note: When completing your Budget form, please ensure that you have allowed sufficient resources to perform this function (see section 3.1.2 Budget).

5.0 Notes

5.1 Risk Framework

Once a project is approved for contribution funding, AAFC will conduct a risk assessment to determine the overall risk level of the project.

The result (risk level) of this assessment does not determine eligibility for funding but will affect, among other things:

AAFC’s contribution agreement template has been designed to accommodate this framework and its results. A letter will accompany the CA to outline the requirements for the above.

5.2 Intellectual Property

By signing the application form you are allowing AAFC to reproduce and distribute the whole or any part(s) of your application for the purposes outlined in section 5.6 Business Information.

The AGGP is an initiative pursuant to which contribution funds may be paid to recipients. Title to the intellectual property developed by the recipient of contribution funding will vest in the recipient or in a third party, as may be negotiated by the recipient and the third party.

However, AAFC will engage in program administration activities and in other follow-up activities. AAFC may require the inclusion of a non-exclusive, world-wide and royalty-free and perpetual license or sub-license, as applicable, allowing AAFC to reproduce and to distribute by any means the whole or any part of documents generated by or for the recipient for these purposes, within the Department, within the Government of Canada, or to other governments, as part of the contribution agreement. AAFC may also require that such license allow AAFC to reproduce and distribute documents generated by or for the recipient for public purposes to organizations, interested stakeholders, agricultural producers and members of the public.

5.3. Retention and Disposition of Assets

The department will include terms in the CA to allow AAFC to direct that assets purchased with contribution funds or needed to meet the Recipient’s obligations under the CA be retained until the completion of the project or the repayment of AAFC contribution funding (if any). If the Recipient wishes to dispose of the assets beforehand, they will be disposed of in the manner that AAFC determines or to such person as AAFC authorizes. This means that if the Recipient wishes to dispose of assets that are purchased using contribution funds or needed to meet the Recipient’s obligations under the CA, then the Recipient must send a request for authorization to do so to the Minister or his representative before disposition. The terms of the CA also allow AAFC to direct, at the completion of the Project, or upon an earlier termination of this Agreement the Recipient to keep, or to dispose of the capital assets acquired by the Recipient using the Minister’s Contribution. Note that AAFC will have no property ownership or security interests in any assets purchased with contribution funds.

5.4 Official Languages

5.4.1 Language of Service

Applicants and Recipients are encouraged to communicate with AAFC in the official language of their choice. AAFC reviews and assesses applications and project deliverables in both official languages.

5.4.2 Language Obligations of Recipients

Depending on the nature of the program, the type of Recipient, and specific project activities to be undertaken, the Government of Canada may require the Recipient to make information available to and interact with the public in one or both official languages on terms and conditions to be specified in the Contribution Agreement.

In all cases the Recipient must publicly acknowledge AAFC’s support for the project and project-specific communications products. The department may request that such acknowledgment include text in both official languages. Contribution funding from the AGGP can be used to help cover the cost of conducting activities and communicating with the public in Canada’s official languages as long as the costs fall within the definition of eligible costs and are included within the project budget.

5.5 M-30 Law (for Quebec organizations only)

The Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil Exécutif (M-30) may apply to an applicant in the Province of Québec. Applicants will be required to complete an additional information form and, if they are subject to the requirements of the Act, to obtain written authorization and approval from the Government of Québec prior to execution of any contribution funding agreement.

5.6 Business Information

AAFC may collect, use and share an Applicant’s information, which includes, but is not limited to, documentation prepared in the administration of the AGGP. AAFC will use and share this information for the purposes of assessing and reviewing the eligibility of the Applicant and the proposed project with:

The information may be shared with the parties mentioned above, for purposes that include, but are not limited to:

AAFC publishes a list of approved projects on the departmental website and may publish such list on other Government of Canada websites. This list would include the name of the Recipient, the project name, and the amount of the AGGP contribution. AAFC may also publicize this information, along with a description of the project, in:

5.7 Environmental Considerations

All projects receiving funding from AAFC must comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA2012). It is your responsibility to review whether your type of project is listed on the Regulations Designating Physical Activities and to contact the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Indicate in the "Project Description" section of the Application Form if your type of project is listed on the Regulations. Also indicate if the project’s activities are located on Federal Crown land (includes federal and Aboriginal reserve land), on private land or another type of land. If you do not know, indicate that this information is "unknown".

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food will consider whether your project requires an environmental determination under section 67 of the CEAA2012 and take the necessary steps if a determination is required and may inform you accordingly.

Provide details on any environmental risks in the "Risk Assessment" section in the Application Form, which includes confirming whether you have or will obtain federal, provincial, territorial or municipal authorizations and permits. AAFC reserves the right to request additional information.

6.0 Contact Information

See Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program for more information about the program.

For further information please contact us toll-free at 1-877-246-4682, or by e-mail at AGGP-PLGESA@AGR.GC.CA.

Applications can be emailed to the address above or mailed to the following address:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Commercialization and Environmental Programs Division
Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program
1341 Baseline Road
Tower 7, 8th Floor, Room 242
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5

Annex A: Consent to Disclose Personal and/or Business Information

See the Consent to Disclose Personal and/or Business Information form

Annex B: Cost Categories

Administration

Administration costs necessary to complete the project, such as:

Salaries/Benefits

Salaries and benefits directly related to completing the activities of the project.

Contracted Services

Professional or specialized services for which a contract is entered into, such as:

Travel

Travel costs related to the project, such as:

Capital / Assets

Capital Assets are tangible assets that are purchased, constructed, developed or otherwise acquired and:

Costs such as:

Other Direct Project Costs

Other costs for project-related deliverables such as:

Annex C: Copyright Permission

See the Copyright Permission form

Annex D: Official Language Minority Community

See the Official Language Minority Community form

Annex E: Priority Areas and Project Examples

Projects which address more than one priority area are acceptable and encouraged. AGGP projects should:

  1. provide science-based results from GHG mitigation research that is intellectually credible, evidence-based and/or action-oriented to advance our knowledge and understanding of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation in agriculture;
  2. develop new GHG mitigation technologies and practices that Canadian farmers can adopt to improve their environmental performance and profitability.

Within the four priority areas, the AGGP will fund projects that address identified gaps along the innovation RDT continuum. In some priority areas, the gap identified may be a need for further research. In other priority areas, the gap may be additional technology development or technology transfer.

The four priority areas on which the AGGP will focus are:

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