Investor Ready – Invest Medicine Hat

Investor Ready

News / People / Start-up Culture

Medicine Hat-based Alternative Farming Solutions is approved to take part in Alberta Investor Tax Credit program.

September 26, 2017

Alternative Farming Solutions, an aquaponics startup, has been approved as an Eligible Business Corporation, as part of the Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC) program.

The AITC program offers investors a 30% tax rebate on capital provided to innovative companies like Alternative Farming Solutions (AFS).

“We’re one step closer to producing locally grown kale and herbs,” says Melanie White, founder and president of AFS. “We’ve done the research and we know aquaponics works.”

Aquaponics combines conventional aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment. Water from the aquaculture system is fed into a hydroponic system, where the fish by-products are used by the plants as nutrients. “Basically, the fish fertilize the plants,” explains White. “It’s a closed loop system.”

Aquaponics has a long history of success in Southern Alberta. The Aquaculture Centre of Excellence at Lethbridge College, started in 1989, today stands as the only applied research centre of its kind in Canada.

Medicine Hat, meanwhile, is home to one Canada’s primary greenhouse clusters, providing a skilled labour force and experienced logistics to the sector.

In order to register as an Eligible Business Corporation (EBC), AFS had to prove that the company is substantively involved in research and development of new products and processes.

According to White, becoming an EBC under the AITC program helps make an even stronger business case for the company, by providing a 30% tax credit to investors who provide capital to the company.

Eligibility for investors interested in the AITC program is limited to investors who pay corporate taxes in Alberta and invest in small businesses in Alberta. The AITC program has approximately $18-million of $30-million remaining for the 2017-2018 intake period.

“This is a major milestone for our company,” says White. “Being part of the AITC program provides potential investors just one more reason to take a serious look at our offering.”