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British Columbia/Canadian-Media: British Columbia (BC)'s Economic Recovery Plan, the $3-million agritech grant program, part of Stronger BC outlines the latest steps being taken by the BC government to help people, businesses and communities come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared.
Agriculture in BC. Image credit: bcwi.ca
Besides B.C.-based agritech and agriculture businesses, this program is accessible to international agritech companies that are partnered with B.C.-based businesses.
“This grant will allow Agritech companies to develop technology that will help farmers increase their productivity and economic opportunity,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This year has reinforced the need to support local farmers, now and into the future. With the use of technology, they will be better equipped to enhance B.C.’s food security, strengthen our supply chains and keep people healthy.”
The application of technology, Agritech aims to improve the farming and food-production process by placing a smart sensor in the soil to communicate back to a farmer about soil conditions or using software that tracks satellite imagery to help map and manage farmland.
“Ensuring that farmers have viable ways to produce safe, sustainable food is incredibly important,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “This program, and its focus on technology, will allow for advancements in farming that build our food security and increase the availability of B.C. foods and economic opportunities in our communities.”
The program will help accelerate the growth of B.C.’s agritech sector and help agritech companies grow and anchor in B.C.
“Agricultural technology is core to helping ensure that B.C. farmers can grow the food that people need,” said Lenore Newman, director, Food and Agriculture Institute, University of Fraser Valley. “Through initiatives like this, we can build a more secure food supply, all while enhancing the province’s competitiveness.”
To be eligible for this the program a company must operate and pay taxes in B.C., employ at least 10 B.C. residents and raise at least 25% of the funding from another source.
Applications close on Feb. 12, 2021, and successful applicants would be notified in early March 2021 followed by the disbursement to recipients by March 31, 2021.
Eligible companies can receive grants of up to $500,000.