Ottawa and the provinces agree on a major five-year agricultural plan


Ottawa and the provinces agree on a major five-year agricultural plan

Men and women harvest vegetables.

Ottawa and the provinces have agreed on the renewal of a five-year strategic plan in agriculture, improved and redesigned in several respects to take into account the impact of climate change.

Following a federal-provincial meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Friday, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie- Claude Bibeau, and his provincial and territorial counterparts unveiled the outline of the new Canadian Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture.

Half a billion dollars has been added to the Partnership, bringing it to $3.5 billion for the five years from 2023 to 2028.

It should be noted that the first billion is entirely borne by the federal government, while the rest is cost-shared, in proportions of 60% for the federal government and 40% for the provinces and territories.

Among the added amounts is a $250 million envelope for the new Resilient Agricultural Landscapes Program, a program that recognizes the ecological goods and services provided by the agricultural sector, Bibeau explained.

This program, like others, included in the Partnership, will play a role in the recognition of the environmental practices of producers, and will make it possible to achieve a reduction of three to five megatonnes in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the agricultural sector, she added.

The feds announced an increase in the AgriStability compensation rate.

Agricultural producers, who are increasingly affected by episodes of extreme weather caused by global warming, will certainly be delighted by the favorable response to a long-standing request: Minister Bibeau has indeed announced an increase the AgriStability payout rate, which will increase from 70% to 80% starting in 2023.

This significant change represents up to $72 million per year and will have significant impacts on producers who suffer significant losses, argued Ms. Bibeau.

The AgriStability program is a federal program apart from the new Partnership concluded on Friday.

Since risk management is now one of the major components of an agricultural strategy, the ministers undertook to carry out a consultation to improve all the programs devoted to this issue.

“To encourage good agricultural practices that make our farms more resilient to climate change, we will be reviewing risk management programs, and each province is committing to implementing a pilot program within a year of the review.

— Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Major producers will also have to do their part, said Ms. Bibeau.

Producers with net eligible AgriInvest revenues over $1 million will be required to produce a risk analysis or environmental management plan of $1 million. here 2025, she added.

The issue of GHG emissions related to the use of fertilizers remains contentious.

Several other topics were discussed during this conference, including the prevention of African swine fever and avian influenza, global food security, inter-provincial barriers, access to markets, the fragility of supply chains and recruitment difficulties.

One subject is likely to remain contentious, namely GHG emissions related to the use of fertilizers. Provincial ministers maintain that it is essential that efforts to reduce emissions from fertilizers do not undermine Canada's ability to contribute to food security in Canada and around the world, now or in the future .

In other words, it is clear that one is for virtue in reducing emissions, but not at the cost of returns, at least for as long as that other countries will not do the same.

However, they also raised the importance of protecting honeybee and native bee populations, and working alongside experts in the field to see to this protection.

At the end of the conference, the Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, André Lamontagne, said he was very satisfied with the meeting with [his] colleagues from the federal government and other provinces.

He welcomed the increase of half a billion dollars in the strategic framework envelope.

Mr. Lamontagne felt that federal efforts will align with those of Quebec in terms of sustainable agriculture.

“Quebec will use its own targets and accountability mechanisms to contribute to collective results. »

— André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec

He also applauded the improvement of the Agri program -stability, which represents an increase in federal funds of nearly $4 million for Quebec.


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