Hydroponic Help: Government Grants For Farmers Making The Switch

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April 11, 2018

We love hearing from our readers, and just recently, we got a great question about what kind of government support there is for people looking to start farming with hydroponics.

This is such a timely topic! The world’s population is currently at 7.6 billion people, and it’s projected to hit 9.7 billion by the year 2050. Experts are constantly talking about how we need to start thinking about better, more sustainable ways to feed future populations. Hydroponics could be one of the go-to approaches because you can grow plants rapidly, and in habitats that don’t normally support them.

There are so many pros and cons to the hydroponic approach, but here are a few:

PROS:

-Plants grow so much faster and abundantly than they do in traditional farming
-No seasonal growing constraints, thanks to nutrient solutions, artificial lights, heaters and indoor growing conditions
-Most pests and predators are kept at bay

CONS:

-The start-up costs for the required equipment are incredibly expensive
-Very high running costs to keep heaters, lights, water purifiers and pumps constantly operating
-Quite a bit of supervision is required

If you’re willing to do some research, there is available cash out there to help you get started in hydroponic farming, and to maintain your business as well. We did some searching of our own and made a few calls. Maybe some of the ideas below can help you make the switch:  

UNITED STATES

There are multiple U.S. government grants available for those wanting to switch over to hydroponic farming. For example, the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program helps cover the cost of electricity, which is a major expense in this approach. Need help covering the costs of packaging, delivering, and labelling your hydroponic goods? There’s a grant for that too. The USDA is also trying to give local food production a shot in the arm, so if growing herbs and produce commercially, the Local Food Promotion Program could help you out.

CANADA

Canada is no different, with the government always looking to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based product sectors. The goal is to increase the country’s competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability. As a result, farmers interested in switching to hydroponic technology in their greenhouses might be eligible for funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). It’s a five-year federal-provincial-territorial deal, so hurry while it still lasts.

Loan programs also exist for farmers looking to buy buildings or equipment, expand their businesses, or make environmental improvements.

While we focused mainly on North American grant and subsidy programs, European initiatives also exist!

There are so many possibilities out there to help you start a farming business using hydroponic technology. This is just the beginning; there’s more out there! All you need is a little bit of time to dig around, and then, of course, start your application process. Keep in mind there are application deadlines for most of these programs, so be sure to check those out.

If you have any questions related to the world of gardening or growing that you want answered, don’t be shy! We’d love to hear from you.  

Catherine Sherriffs
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Catherine Sherriffs

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her two young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.
Catherine Sherriffs
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