Today Canadian Federal and Provincial Agriculture Ministers signed the new Growing Forward 2 (GF2) agreement. SARM was pleased with increased funding for strategic initiatives but was disappointed to learn that government funding for AgriInvest will be reduced from 1.5 to 1 per cent of producers’ allowable net sales and that AgriStability will see a margin coverage reduction from 85 to 70 per cent.
SARM has suggested many improvements to the AgriStability Program over the last several years to make it more user-friendly and bankable. SARM President David Marit says, “Although SARM recognizes that the AgriStability Program requires improvements we are still disappointed to see the margin coverage level decrease.”
In Saskatchewan, producers currently find great value in both the predictability and transparency of the AgriInvest program. “SARM asked that funding for AgriInvest increase for these reasons, says Marit. Primary agriculture producers operate on tight margins therefore programs that are both transparent and bankable are very important to farmers.”
The Province of Saskatchewan houses 40 per cent of Canada’s farmland totaling more than 60 million acres in Canada and therefore represents an extensive portion of the Canadian agriculture industry. Marit says, “If producers in Saskatchewan were asking for increases to AgriInvest, SARM would have liked to have seen it recognized in this agreement.”
SARM also understands that Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart was disappointed with the changes to AgriInvest but that the majority of the other provinces supported it. SARM shares this disappointment but understands the importance of Saskatchewan signing the agreement to ensure Saskatchewan producers don’t lose access to GF2 funding for market development, research, water infrastructure, etc.
“SARM looks forward to being involved in future consultations regarding these Non-Business Risk Management GF2 Programs,” says Marit.
For more information contact:
David Marit Dale Harvey
President Executive Director
(306) 476-7754 (306) 535-7343