Deal inked on policy framework
Recently, federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) ministers of agriculture reached agreement on the content of the “Growing Forward 2” policy framework for the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-products sector.
The new five-year agreement includes investments in strategic initiatives of more than $3 billion for innovation, competitiveness, and market development, including a 50 percent increase in governments’ cost-shared initiatives.
Key highlights of “Growing Forward 2” include:
•a 50 percent increase in cost-shared investments in strategic initiatives (non-BRM) to stimulate innovation, competitiveness, and market development;
•a complete and effective suite of BRM programs to protect against severe market volatility and disasters;
•greater flexibility for provinces and territories to tailor programs to local needs;
•increased opportunity for provinces and territories to invest in environmental initiatives and on-farm water infrastructure;
•ongoing support for farmers with a full suite of risk management programs, including improved negative margin coverage in AgriStability and lower program fees for AgriStability; and
•substantially increasing farmers’ ability to contribute greater funds into their AgriInvest accounts to better manage risk.
In collaboration with the sector, governments also will encourage the development of private-sector risk management tools, and will continue to monitor and review BRM programming over the term of the framework.
Following consultations with industry, governments have committed to increase their focus on innovation, competitiveness, and market development.
As the global population rises and demand for consistency in supply of high-quality food increases, Canadian farmers, producers, and processors must be positioned to capitalize on emerging market opportunities.
Research and development hold the promise of growth in both productivity and profitability for the sector.
Innovation will lead to more efficient, sustainable farming and processing operations, and help position Canada as a world leader in agriculture.
The agreement sets the stage for FPT governments to complete bilateral agreements so programs will be in place by April 1, 2013 when the current framework expires.
More information about “Growing Forward 2” is available at www.agr.gc.ca/GrowingForward
Dates to remember
•Sept. 29–Fall cattle sale, Stratton sales barn (contact Philip Krahn at 852-4384).