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Biogas association gets federal funding to accelerate sustainable agriculture


March 10, 2021
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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The Canadian Biogas Association (CBA) is receiving upwards of $116,800 in federal funding to accelerate sustainable agricultural development.

The funding announcement was made March 9 by Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canadian minister of agriculture and agri-food. The minister also met with Jennifer Green, executive director of the CBA, and Rob McKinlay of Harcolm Farms in Woodstock, Ont., who installed a factory-built mini digester system on his 72-head dairy farm. They discussed the benefits of biogas, how biogas installments work, and the educational resources available through the CBA’s new website.

“Canadian agricultural producers ensure the health of our lands and continue to innovate to reduce the environmental impact of their practices,” Bibeau said. “Biogas systems provide them an innovative way to manage their waste, diversify their incomes and grow their businesses, all while reducing their GHG emissions. With the tools offered by the Canadian Biogas Association, farmers will have access to relevant information to help them better understand the opportunities available to them in biogas and renewable natural gas.”

With funding of up to $28,800 from the Agricultural Clean Technology Program, the CBA launched a campaign to help farmers learn more about biogas. As part of the campaign, the CBA launched FarmingBiogas.ca, a new website with resources to help farmers evaluate the opportunities of biogas, including a self-assessment tool, answers to key questions, profiles of on-farm biogas plants in Canada and more. It also includes a checklist and links to biogas equipment suppliers and technical advisers, acting as a one-stop-shop to help farmers get started.

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On-farm biogas systems can help farmers cut greenhouse gas emissions, provide sustainable sources of energy and offer many other environmental advantages. They can also generate additional sources of income and create opportunities for the farm’s next generation.

“There are already 61 farms and agri-food businesses across Canada successfully capturing biogas and turning it into a valuable clean energy resource,” Green said. “Studies show that there is the opportunity for much more. With the support of AAFC, we can accelerate further uptake of farm biogas projects and, in so doing, cut Canada’s carbon emissions and support our agricultural communities.”

Biogas can be captured and purified to create renewable natural gas, which is fully interchangeable to replace conventional natural gas. The CBA also received $88,000 under the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program to identify clusters of agricultural resources across Canada and assess the potential for renewable natural gas development by region. The CBA will use this information to create a guide to inform agricultural stakeholders about new and emerging renewable natural gas opportunities, encouraging collaborations to develop more sustainable energy systems in Canada.

Canadian farmers are considered important partners in the fight against climate change. By adopting sustainable technologies and practices, they can reduce their environmental footprint and capture new economic opportunities.