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Alberta Ag seeks private investments as part of recovery plan


September 30, 2020
By Top Crop Manager

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The government of Alberta is working to build value-added agriculture capacity and bolster economic activity with an aggressive private investment attraction target of $1.4 billion.

As part of Alberta’s recovery plan, this investment attraction initiative intends to create more than 2,000 jobs and get Albertans back to work in emerging sectors like hemp, agri-technology and value-added processing of grain, oilseed, plant protein and meat.

Olds College, with the government’s investment of $200,000 from the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) through Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, will partner with THRIVE’s Canada accelerator and startup program, which focuses on technology-driven solutions to support agriculture and food sectors. This builds on the government’s commitment of $1 million, made Sept. 21, to Olds College for its Smart Agriculture Applied Research program.

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“Agriculture in Alberta will lead our economic recovery in Alberta,” says Devin Dreeshen, Alberta’s minister of agriculture and forestry. “Alberta’s farmers, ranchers and processors are global leaders in innovation, making Alberta the best place in the world to invest. Together, Olds College, SVG Ventures and strategic investors like the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation will deliver on projects that will support Alberta entrepreneurs and strengthen our supply chain.”

“Supporting technology startups will help keep Alberta’s agriculture and agri-food sector on the cutting edge of innovation, while creating jobs,” says Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food. “Our farmers and food businesses are leading our country on the road to recovery, and our government will continue to invest in them to help them grow and succeed.”

THRIVE will help strategically develop our agri-food system by providing guidance on high-value cluster opportunities, supporting startups, increasing Alberta’s exposure to Canadian and international companies, and strengthening supply chains with industry-supported technology. These supports will attract investment by demonstrating our commitment to fostering a competitive business environment.

“We’ve had a banner year but we’re just starting to scratch the surface on our potential to grow our agricultural sector,” says Doug Schweitzer, Alberta’s minister of jobs, economy and innovation. “Smart investments and partnerships like the one we’ve made with Olds College and THRIVE will allow us to be leaders in agri-tech.”

Alberta’s government is also supporting new startups looking to enter the value-added industry by providing a single-window support for business and product, leveraging the new $15-million lending limit of the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, investing $25 million in expanding the Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator in Leduc, Alta., and by investing $0.7 million in fibre and plant based protein processing facilities in Vegreville, Alta.