Agri-Opportunities Program

What is it?

The Agri-Opportunities Program (AOP) is a five year $134 million program created to help speed up the commercialization of products which include new agricultural products, processes or services. It does this by providing up-front, repayable, financial capital and by sharing the investment risk with agri-businesses including food companies, not-for profit organizations, co-operatives, academic institutions and producers

The Agri-Opportunities Program is delivered nationally by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

What is the benefit to your company?

The Agri-Opportunities Program provides a maximum repayable contribution of $10 million per project and per recipient. Repayment terms are quite favourable.

  • Contribution provided to for-profit organizations will be repayable if the contribution amount is more than $100,000
  • Contribution of less than $100,000 is normally non-repayable.
  • Funding provided to not-for-profit organizations is normally non-repayable.

The target program contribution per project is 33% of total project costs.

Who Qualifies?

  • Corporations
  • Foreign companies (that have a Canadian subsidiary)
  • Individuals
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Aboriginal groups
  • Academic institutions
  • Canadian agri-businesses
  • Co-operatives Non-profit entities
  • Producers

What Qualifies?

Projects should focus on:

  • new bio- or agri-food products
  • new agricultural products
  • new processes or services

that are currently not produced or commercially available in Canada.

Projects will:

  1. increase market opportunities for the Canadian agricultural industry across the value chain
  2. generate demand for primary agricultural products, and
  3. be completed by March 11, 2011.

You can apply for more than one project under this program but the maximum contribution of $10 million per recipient applies.

Products must be ready to introduce to the marketplace.

Project work must take place in Canada and benefit the Canadian agricultural industry. You must also demonstrate that there is a need for capital investment

Priority will be given to projects that increase demand for primary agricultural products and that produce benefits across the Canadian agricultural value chains.

Examples ….

  • new bioproducts such as plastics and fibre board
  • nutraceuticals, functional foods, new food products
  • new uses of agricultural by-products
  • new processes could include new food processing technology to, for instance, bring a new product to market

How do I apply?

The application process consists of 3 steps.

  1. The first step is consulting the application guide to determine that your project meets the basic criteria. If you feel that your project meets the program's objectives and eligibility criteria, contact a program officer. They will assess your project for market potential and if it is a good fit with the objectives of the Agri-Opportunities Program and will provide you with an 'information guide' for submitting a Proposal Synopsis.
  2. The second step is to complete your Proposal Synopsis. The invitation to submit a full proposal is issued based on the content of your synopsis, so it's important that the information is complete and succinct. The turn-around time for the assessment of a proposal synopsis is normally 30 business days, once all pertinent information has been received.
  3. The third step is submitting a full proposal. The completed full proposal will be used to evaluate the technical, managerial, financial and market risks associated with the project. Remember that your proposal will be assessed in the context of the projects' relevance to achieving the objectives of the Agri-Opportunities Program. Processing time for a full proposal depends on the complexity and the completeness of the proposal.

How often can I apply?

You can apply for more than one project over the lifetime of the Program. The maximum amount per applicant ($10 million) will apply.

When can I apply?

Agri-Opportunities staff will let you know during your initial telephone conversation whether or not your project is a good fit with the Program's objectives and eligibility criteria.

Proposal synopses and full proposals are accepted on a continuous basis.
Your project must be complete by March 11, 2011.

Where can I find more information?

More information can be found on the AOP website at; by e-mailing a program officer at; or, by phone at 1-877-246-4682.