Evaluation of the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (2016–17 to 2020–21) - Summary

About the evaluation

  • This evaluation reports on the relevance, design and delivery, and performance of the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP), focusing on results achieved from April 1, 2016 to July 24, 2019. The evaluation also examined the long-term impacts of the Program though inclusion of results and experiences from the previous iteration of the AGGP (2010-11 to 2015-16). 
  • Multiple lines of evidence were utilized, including: a review of previous evaluations; a document, file, and data review; a literature review; a bibliometric review; interviews with AAFC staff, recipients, and project stakeholders; and long-term case studies.

What we found

The Agricultural Greenhouse Gases program

  • AGGP is an application-based $27-million, five-year (April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021), A-base funded program.
  • The program was initiated to represent Canada’s contribution to the Global Research Alliance for the mitigation of agricultural GHGs.
  • The objective of the program is to enhance the understanding and accessibility of agricultural technologies and beneficial management practices that can be adopted by farmers.
  • The program provides funding to eligible institutions for GHG mitigation research in four priority areas: livestock systems, cropping systems, agricultural water use efficiency, and agroforestry.


  • The AGGP provides needed, and unique, funding for research on agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation strategies, technologies, and beneficial management practices.
  • The AGGP aligns with AAFC and Government priorities, supporting the mission and results directives of the Department.
  • The AGGP aligns with federal roles and responsibilities and responds to the federal government’s commitments to various national and international agreements related to climate change and GHG mitigation.

Design and delivery

  • While the AGGP claims processes are aligned with the Department’s standard procedures, changes to claims policies and processes since the first iteration of the program, along with communication gaps at the time of the second Program launch, resulted in increased administrative burden for recipients and had some financial impacts. Some of these challenges may be related to the inherent incompatibilities with research funding expectations and contribution program requirements.
  • The Program’s logic model and performance indicators do not accurately reflect all of the activities and impacts of funded projects, for example, the Program’s long-term outcomes have been achieved while immediate and intermediate outcomes have yet to be met.
  • Opportunities exist to facilitate information sharing with other researchers and to leverage existing knowledge and capacity, thus expanding Program effectiveness.


  • The Program has signed contribution agreements for twenty research projects, meeting the Program target.
  • Projects funded by the AGGP are on track to meet the immediate and intermediate outcomes, and have already met the long-term Program outcome indicator.


R1: The Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs Branch, should review Program design and delivery aspects to ensure administrative efficiency and effectiveness for both AAFC and recipients.

R2: The Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs Branch, should review and revise the AGGP logic model and performance measurements to better capture the activities and impacts of funded projects.

R3: The Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs Branch, should facilitate opportunities to enable the sharing of knowledge and results of the Program.

Management response

Program management has agreed to review recipient claims issues and determine whether design or delivery revisions could reduce issues moving forward. Management will also evaluate program design and documentation prior to the launch of any future AGGP, will review the Program logic model to determine how to better capture the activities and impacts of funded projects, and will consult recipients and internal AAFC staff to determine the most appropriate means of sharing the results of AGGP projects. All management actions will be completed by April 2021.