Canadian Agricultural Loans Act (CALA) Program

By mmuise

The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program is a loan guarantee program designed to increase the availability of loans to farmers and agricultural co-operatives. Farmers can use these loans to establish, improve, and develop farms, while agricultural co-operatives may also access loans to process, distribute, or market the products of farming.

Comments on Funding:

Loans are limited to a maximum of:
1. $500,000 for the purchase of land and the construction or improvement of buildings.
2. $350,000 for all other loan purposes, including consolidation/refinancing.
The maximum aggregate loan limit for agricultural co-operatives is $3 million, with the Minister's approval.

Deadline: Currently accepting applications

Applicants must be:

  • existing farmers;
  • beginning (with less than 6 years of farming) and start-up farmers,
  • farmers taking over the family farm;
  • part-time farmers;
  • agricultural co-operatives with a majority (50% + 1) farmer membership.

    A farm operation must meet the definition of farmer and farming as defined in the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act.

    Farmer may be one of the following that is or intends to be engaged in farming in Canada:
  • an individual;
  • a partnership;
  • a corporation;
  • a co-operative association.

  • the production of field-grown crops, cultivated and uncultivated, and horticultural crops;
  • the raising of livestock, poultry, and fur-bearing animals;
  • the production of eggs, milk, honey, maple syrup, tobacco, fibre, wood from woodlots, and fodder crops;
  • the production or raising of any other prescribed thing or animal.
Application Steps:

1. The applicant must present the business proposal directly to a chartered bank, credit union, caisse populaire, Alberta Treasury Branches or any other organization designated by the Minister. The lender will go through its loan application process and determine the financing best suited for his/her needs, which may include a loan under the CALA program.

2. Lenders register loans and submit the associated registration fee using the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Online Loan Registration System or by e-mail.

Documentation Needed:

1. Beginning or start up farmers may need to provide the lender with a business plan and an income tax form showing no farm income and/or expense for at least one year in the last six years.
2. Agricultural co-operatives may need to provide a current income tax return showing farm income and/or expense from 50% + 1 of its members or a notarized attestation as to its membership.

Other Things to Note:

Date modified: 2022-10-03

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