This morning the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau and the Minister of International Trade Diversification, Jim Carr made an announcement on the federal government’s plan to support the canola industry amidst the crisis with China. The federal government will be offering support to producers by increasing the maximum loan limit under the Advanced Payment Program, increasing interest free loans to canola producers and extending the AgriStability program by two months.
Both Ministers also state they will continue to use the science-based approach in dealing with China.
“Farmers will be expected to repay dollars borrowed through the Advanced Payment program, since it is a loan and to be clear it is a temporary solution,” stated Ray Orb, President of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM).
“While this announcement is a step in the right direction, it still does not address the problem with China,” explained Orb. “We are frustrated and will continue to push for a diplomatic resolution to the problem. Canada needs an ambassador to China and Ministers Bibeau, Carr and Freeland also need to be more involved.”
Nearly half (40 per cent) of canola and canola products produced in Canada go to China. Saskatchewan is the largest exporter of canola in Canada and globally. Access to the world market is critical to the success of our agriculture industry and the provincial and national economies. The canola crisis is a nationwide issue.
This week SARM launched a campaign encouraging rural municipalities, communities, associations, stakeholders and the public to lend support to Saskatchewan’s producers. The letter writing campaign urging the federal government to take immediate action is available at www.sarm.ca .
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