Up to $12 million in federal funding will be awarded to innovators to advance low-cost and scalable practices, processes, and technologies designed to reduce methane emissions produced by cattle.
The Agricultural Methane Reduction Challenge, launched by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada this week, is a key part of the Government of Canada’s plan to tackle climate change, it says.
The Challenge will use a phased approach. At each stage, an external review panel will determine which applicants move to the following stage and receive funding. There are up to 20 prizes of up to $250,000 open to all eligible applicants participating in stage 1 and up to 10 prizes of up to $500,000 open to all semi-finalists participating in stage 2.
At the last stage, two winners will be awarded a grand prize of up to $1 million each. All semi-finalists and finalists will also benefit from non-financial support, such as mentorship and training opportunities. Applications will be accepted until February 7, 2024.
The government adds that the challenge is designed in collaboration with beef and dairy industry groups to “accelerate successes, spur innovation, and reduce emissions.”
“Canadian beef producers are global leaders in environmental stewardship and have half the world average of greenhouse gas emissions per pound of beef. The new Agricultural Methane Reduction Challenge is well aligned with our beef sector’s 2030 goals and we look forward to continuing to work with government to find innovations to help further reduce beef cattle’s emissions intensity,” says Nathan Phinney, president of the Canadian Cattle Association.
The Canadian Beef Advisors has a 2030 goal of reducing emission intensity from primary beef production by 33 per cent, and the Dairy Farmers of Canada have set a goal to reach net-zero by 2050.
“Dairy farmers’ progress in terms of reducing our carbon footprint is in large part because farmers embrace innovation and research. They do not shy away from applying new technologies and progressive ideas on their farms in order to improve their production and to protect the land and the environment. The Challenge announced today will add to our toolbox and help us on our journey towards reaching net zero 2050,” says David Wiens, president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada.