Feds reward farmers who reduce their carbon footprint

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The federal government rewards farmers who reduce their carbon footprint

Four Quebec agricultural producers have received financial support from Ottawa to continue their green shift.

Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau was visiting a vertical farm in Napierville on Friday, where she announced financial support for four Quebec agricultural producers to help them reduce their carbon footprint.

At the family business G.S.P.M. Distribution, harvesting of romaine lettuce, bok choy, basil and other leafy greens is done by robots no matter the time of year.

Thirteen robotic devices circulate on the ten floors of superimposed plans of the 1000 square meter warehouse located in Napierville, south of Montreal.

The family business received $846,625 last year under the Agriculture Clean Technology Program to help install an indoor hydroponic vertical farming system, which provides year-round vegetable production.

As the plants are layered on top of each other, this method of production requires a very low amount of water.

“Water is continuously recycled, 95% less water is used than a field crop. »

— Sylvain Coallier, president of G.S.P.M Distribution

He clarified that his business does not depend on the municipal water service.

We are self-sufficient in water because we have installed water tanks outside, we have a capacity of 45,000 gallons to capture rainwater and in winter, we have heating cables that will melt the snow, explained the producer who manages the #x27;business in which his wife and four children work.

Since there is no natural light in the warehouse, LED lamps are installed above the plants.

The light that comes from the lamps give off enough heat to keep the warehouse warm, even in winter, and the leafy greens are grown without herbicides or pesticides.

Sylvain Coallier explained that he can produce about fifteen harvests per year of local, fresh and eco-responsible products, while generating little greenhouse gas.

He estimates that his company's weekly output is the equivalent of a 53-foot refrigerated truckload of produce from California that travels 3,000 miles to bring it here .

G.S.P.M. Distribution employs only six employees.

In a context of labor shortage, particularly in the agricultural sector, the concept of vertical agriculture developed by the family of Sylvain Coallier is an example of efficiency and innovation, according to the president of the Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA), Martin Caron.

Canada's Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

This is truly exceptional given the amount of plants grown, said the president of the UPA on Friday morning, while visiting the company where a press conference was taking place. Bibeau Minister.

Passing through G.S.P.M. Distribution, the Minister announced $2.7 million in financial assistance for four new projects under the Clean Technology in Agriculture Program.

Entosystem, of Drummondville, will obtain $2M for the purchase and installation of energy-efficient technologies and equipment to increase the efficiency of its production system. insect-based fertilizers and animal feed.

La Ferme Belveau, from Saint-Henri-de-Lévis, La Ferme Delorme, from Sainte-Brigide-d'Iberville, and La Ferme Macna S.E.N.C., from Saint-François -du-Lac, will also receive amounts to reduce the carbon footprint of their business.

“Les new funding under the Clean Technology in Agriculture Program aims to reduce the sector's greenhouse gas emissions and leverage technology to be more resilient to climate change.

—Marie-Claude Bibeau, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

The federal government has allocated $495.7M to the Agriculture Clean Technology Program.

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