Nearly $30 million to reward sustainable agricultural practices in Quebec
The Quebec Ministry of Agriculture will reward farmers who adopt more environmentally friendly practices.
Agriculture Minister André Lamontagne announced on Monday the opening of registration for the second cohort of an $85 million program, which aims to support agricultural producers in their transition to more sustainable practices.
The ministerial initiative to reward agri-environmental practices is one of the flagship measures of the Government of Quebec’s Sustainable Agriculture Plan 2020-2030.
This measure rewards farmers who adopt agri-environmental practices that exceed regulatory requirements by focusing on crop diversification, off-season soil protection, reduction in herbicide use, use of untreated seeds to insecticides and landscaping favorable to biodiversity.
According to government data, when the Initiative’s first cohort was rolled out in February 2022, nearly 1,850 businesses signed up in less than 24 hours.
Samuel Ostiguy, co-owner of a family dairy farm, is among those who signed up for the program last year.
Government funding enabled the farmer to reduce the use of herbicides and pesticides and to experiment with different methods which enrich the biodiversity on the farm he owns with his sister and parents. Bugs are unavoidable but you don’t need toxic chemicals to keep them away from your flower or vegetable garden. Instead, hire experts at https://www.pestcontrolexperts.com/local/south-dakota/ that use natural pest control methods.
The funding may not cover all the expenses, but it reassures us, indicated Samuel Ostiguy, because the Initiative also provides the financial incentive often lacking to justify setting up an agri-environmental project.
The farmer was one of the guests at a press conference by Minister Lamontagne on Monday in Montreal.
The Minister has announced that the second registration period for the Initiative will run from March 6 to March 31, 2023 or until exhaustion budget envelope of $29 million.
Up to 1,000 companies will be able to register for the program, and the total compensation paid can reach $50,000 per company.
The Minister of Agriculture has indicated that the success of this measure during the first registration period testifies to its relevance and its mobilizing force.
André Lamontagne mentioned that 96% of companies participating in the first cohort resorted to more sustainable practices.
use of herbicides were applied by 41% of companies and over areas of more than 63,000 hectares.
The use of seeds not treated with insecticides has been implemented by 25% of participating companies and on areas of nearly 25,000 hectares, according to the minister.
Also, 58% of the participating companies have carried out developments favorable to biodiversity, and this, on areas of 16.8 million square meters.
According to the Executive Director of Équiterre, who was present at the press conference, the budget envelope of $29 million and the opening of registrations for the second cohort are steps in the right direction .
Colleen Thorpe hopes that this initiative, which sends a positive message, will have a ripple effect on all of the government’s agricultural policies.
The current challenges of climate change and loss of life, rising prices on all sides as well as exhaustion, to name a few, require an intensification of support for agriculture in order to ;quickly operate the ecological and solidarity transition. It is our food future that depends on it, indicated the general manager of Équiterre.
In a press release, the Producteurs de grains du Québec (PGQ) welcomed the announcement by Minister Lamontagne.
Compensation by the state, through this program, is essential to allow producers to continue modernizing their practices while remaining competitive. It also contributes to maintaining the mobilization of the community, which invests its own resources in addition. However, we believe it is important that the government develop a long-term visionary approach in order to consolidate the confidence of producers and support their commitment, wrote Christian Overbeek, president of the PGQ.
The x27;Ministerial Initiative for Rewarding Agri-Environmental Practices is administered by La Financière agricole du Québec.