Farm stewardship funding increased for irrigation projects
March 13, 2007:
Alberta producers who have completed an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) are now eligible for up to $15,000 for several irrigation projects through the Canada-Alberta Farm Stewardship Program (CAFSP), an increase from $10,000.
CAFSP is a federal-provincial cost share program which offers technical and financial assistance for a wide range of on-farm environmental improvements to producers who have developed an EFP, a free, voluntary self-assessment of environmental strengths and risks on a farm or ranch.
In the case of irrigation management, CAFSP funding can be used for projects such as equipment modification for water or nutrient use efficiency, backflow prevention equipment, and improved infiltration galleries and irrigation intake systems, says Bob Cameron of Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (PFRA – AAFC), which delivers the CAFSP program.
"The government’s share is 30 percent for eligible irrigation management projects, with the producer making up the difference," says Cameron. "Producers can claim personal labour and equipment as part of their contributions."
CAFSP eligibility is a process that starts by developing an EFP. That process begins by attending two free, half-day, community-based workshops and continues by working with AEFP technical assistants to develop an EFP tailored to the individual farm or ranch.
The EFP is then presented anonymously for peer review by a committee that offers suggestions on how to best implement the changes outlined in the EFP. Upon receiving a completion certificate, the producer is eligible for CAFSP funding.
CAFSP has proven popular with Alberta producers since the program’s inception in 2005, says Cameron. Last year saw the CAFSP program increase its total per-farm allotment from $30,000 to $50,000 and the addition of nine new practices to the program’s list of eligible on-farm environmental projects.
To date, Alberta producers have submitted over 3,000 CAFSP applications requesting more than $10 million. This represents nearly $25 million spent by producers on the beneficial management practices covered by the CAFSP cost-sharing initiative.
More information on the CAFSP program is available by calling the program office toll-free at 1-800-667-8567. For more information on the EFP program, visit the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company Web site at www.AlbertaEFP.com.
Through the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF), the Government of Canada provides major funding to the EFP program in Alberta, with the Government of Alberta providing additional in-kind support services to help the agricultural sector develop and implement Environmental Farm Plans.
Additional support has been provided by the Agriculture and Food Council, through the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Initiative, the Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Council and various ministries of the Government of Alberta. Contributions have also come from more than 100 local municipalities, businesses and agricultural organizations.