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AgriCompetitiveness Program: Applicant guide

Applicant guide

Purpose of this guide

This guide will:

  1. help you determine if you may be eligible for funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under the AgriCompetitiveness Program.
  2. provide you with directions and explanations to assist you in completing the project application form.

The guide includes additional details on:

Your completed application form will provide AAFC with the information needed to make decisions about eligibility and funding. It is highly recommended that you read this guide and Annex A: How to complete the application form in its entirety before you complete the form.

Table of contents

1.0 Canadian Agricultural Partnership

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector. In addition, producers will continue to have access to a robust suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs.

The Partnership came into force April 1, 2018.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership focuses on six priority areas:

For more information, please visit the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The AgriCompetitiveness Program is a program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

1.1 About the AgriCompetitiveness Program

AgriCompetitiveness programming assists industry-led efforts to provide producers with information needed to build capacity and support the sector’s development. Funding is provided to support sector-led activities such as farmer-oriented seminars, and conferences that identify industry best practices and build the capacity of the sector, farm business management and farm safety information and tools, as well as activities which build agricultural awareness.

The AgriCompetitiveness Program aims to help the agricultural sector to leverage, coordinate and build on existing capacity, enhance safety, adapt to changing commercial environments, seize new opportunities, share best practices, and provide mentorship opportunities. The program builds on existing capacity by facilitating the sharing and expansion of skills, knowledge, and best practices, and increase agricultural awareness. It also provides for activities that allow agri-businesses to transition, adapt, and improve their profitability by nurturing the entrepreneurial capacity of new and established farmers, delivering farm safety initiatives, and cultivating individual and industry leadership.

The program provides funding to the sector to promote the benefits of a career in agriculture and to enhance the public's perception of agriculture and its role in the economy.

The program also supports activities undertaken by important domestic agricultural fairs and exhibitions which have strong international and domestic components, as well as, generic agriculture awareness activities which will help strengthen public trust about the origin of the food they eat and how it is produced.

Program objective

The objective of the AgriCompetitiveness Program is to help the industry further develop capacity throughout the sector and facilitate the sharing and expansion of:

1.2 Eligible applicants

Not-for-profit organizations are eligible under this program. They may include:

Commodity organizations, academic institutions, for-profit organizations, and individuals are not eligible to receive funding under this program.

1.3 Funding and cost-sharing

Available funding

The maximum AAFC contribution for an applicant will normally not exceed $1 million per year.

The maximum AAFC contribution for a project undertaken by a national fair to carry out awareness activities during the fair will normally not exceed $100,000 per year.

Cost sharing

Eligible project costs will normally be shared between AAFC and you as follows:

You must clearly indicate all sources of funding for the project, including your contribution and other industry and/or partner sources of funding including:

What is a cash contribution?

A cash contribution is an expense requiring a cash outlay, by either your organization or by a participant/contributor (such as a partner or other government), during the term of the contribution agreement (CA). Specifically, a cash contribution is an expenditure for an eligible project cost incurred and paid for by your organization, or another project participant.

AAFC will only reimburse cash contributions for eligible project costs that are incurred and paid for by your organization. A cash contribution made by another project participant should be reported as part of your sources of funding, and must be an eligible project cost.

What is an in-kind contribution?

In-kind means the fair market value attributed for goods and the fair value attributed for services that are contributed to this project and require no outlay of cash during the term of the CA by you or a contributor. These contributions must be eligible costs. They will not be reimbursed by AAFC. More information on in-kind contributions is provided in the Annex A: How to complete the application form.

Eligible costs

All costs claimed or contributed under the program must fall within the program cost categories and respect all limitations, including effective dates of the contribution agreement. For more information and details on cost categories, eligible/ineligible costs and other limitations, refer to the Details on eligible cost items section of Annex A.

Ineligible costs

While an expense may fall within a program cost category, there are limitations to the types of expenses which may be claimed. For more information and details on cost categories, eligible/ineligible costs and other limitations, refer to the Project Costs section of Annex A.

For further clarity, ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:

1.4 Eligible activities

The Program will prioritize projects that advance economic growth and build public trust. Program priorities and examples of eligible activities are:

1.5 Ineligible activities

Examples of ineligible activities include:

1.6 Application deadlines

Starting July 1, 2020, a call for proposals process will be undertaken for projects for the 2021-22 (year 4) and 2022-23 (year 5) funding years. Applications will be accepted from July 1, 2020 until September 15, 2020. The Program will prioritize applications received within these dates.

Eligible applications received after September 15, 2020 will only be considered if sufficient funding remains.

Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2022, or until funding has been fully committed or until otherwise announced by the program.

The program ends March 31, 2023.

For detailed information on how to complete a project application form, refer to Annex A: How to complete the application form.

2.0 Expected results

Federally delivered CAP activities will help the agriculture and agri-food sector grow and become more resilient. Budget 2017 set an ambitious target to grow agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.

Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector is one of the most respected in the world. Government plays a key role in providing tools to help the sector adapt to and align with public values.

Today’s globalized marketplace creates both new opportunities and challenges for the performance and sustainable growth of Canada’s diverse agriculture and agri-food sector. The sector’s success is dependent on strong collaboration between industry and governments to remain competitive and prosper in this complex environment.

The expected outcome of the AgriCompetitiveness Program is:

Applications must demonstrate how the proposed project will address the industry/sector need, as well as provide clearly defined targets and performance measures.

3.0 Assessment criteria

Project proposals must be related to delivering national services and/or products in one or more of the areas of developing agri-businesses entrepreneurial capacity, including:

Your application will initially be reviewed against the following criteria:

  1. the application is complete and the proposed project is eligible
  2. the proposed activities, including expected results and outcomes, support program objectives and priorities
  3. all sources of funding for the project funded under this stream are identified

If these criteria are met, a more thorough assessment of your application will be done. This will include:

The assessment process will determine an appropriate amount level of funding for approved projects. This will be based on:

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

Each application will be meticulously reviewed for eligibility, appropriateness, and impact. For an applicant to prove that the activity cost meets each of the above three elements, it is important that each activity and corresponding cost is provided in a manner that is required for an appropriate assessment by AAFC.

Please refer to Annex A: How to complete the application form for detailed information on how to complete a project application.

4.0 Reporting on your project

If your project is approved, we will communicate the level of reporting necessary in writing in advance of the signing of a contribution agreement. The reporting includes progress, performance and financial reports.

Progress reports

You will be required to provide progress reports describing the activities completed and progress made towards deliverables, as described in the Project Work Plan. Progress report frequency is either quarterly, semi-annually or annually, depending on risk level.

Performance reports

You will also be required to provide performance reports annually and at the end of the project. The reports will track progress against mutually agreed to performance measures outlined in the CA.

Financial reports

Financial reporting is required with each request for reimbursement of expenditures, in addition to year-end accounting and other financial reports. When submitting a claim for reimbursement supporting invoices representing 10%, 20% or 40% may be required.

Other reports may be required at AAFC’s discretion.

5.0 Considerations

5.1 M-30 Act (Quebec organizations only)

The Province of Quebec’s M-30 legislation may apply to Quebec based applicants only. It is the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (R.S.Q., c. M-30).

More information on the Act is available online or by contacting the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ) at dpci@mapaq.gouv.qc.ca.

M-30 applies to various types of Quebec organizations, for example, organizations located in Québec and receiving more than half of their financing from the Government of Quebec may be subject to the Act.

All Quebec based organizations will have to address this matter and demonstrate their compliance with the Act during the project assessment process, and prior to entering into a contribution agreement.

6.0 After you apply

Once an application has been submitted, an acknowledgment notice will be forwarded to the applicant.

Note: You should not consider an application as submitted to the program until you receive the acknowledgement notice.

Our goal is to:

After your application is received, AAFC verifies that all required forms and declarations have been completed accurately and there is sufficient detail in the application for a full assessment.

Next, a full review and assessment of your application against the principles and criteria of the program will be carried out by assessors including program administrators and other technical reviewers within AAFC.

AAFC may contact you for more information at any point after you apply.

If your application is approved, a program officer will communicate with you to go over the details of the approval including activities, funding levels as well as start and end dates. The program officer will then follow up with you to negotiate the details of the Contribution Agreement you will be required to enter into.

Note: AAFC does not have the authority to reimburse recipients for costs incurred until a Contribution Agreement is signed, even if an approval is granted.

Please note that even if a project meets all eligibility criteria, the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of the Minister or of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials to provide funding for the proposed project. The Minister retains discretion to determine, based on other public policy and public interest considerations, whether an application that meets the criteria identified in this guide will ultimately receive funding.

7.0 Contact us

For more information on the AgriCompetitiveness Program, please contact us by:

Telephone
1-877-246-4682
TDD/TTY
613-773-2600
E-mail
aafc.agricompetitivenessagri-competitivite.aac@canada.ca
Mail
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
AgriCompetitiveness Program
1341 Baseline Road
Tower 7, 7th Floor, Room 216
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5
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