The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year (2023–2028) investment by federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) governments meant to strengthen and grow Canada’s agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products industries. FPT Ministers of Agriculture agreed this new plan would take effect on April 1, 2023, replacing the current Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). SARM is pleased the new plan will provide $500 million, a 25% increase in new funding for cost-shared activities, over the $2 billion currently provided under CAP. This plan also calls for improved data sharing and results reporting; $250B in sector revenues and $95B in sector export revenues by 2028; an increase in funding for Indigenous Peoples, women, and youth recipients; and a 3-5 MT reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“Saskatchewan farmers are already helping the environment by sequestering carbon and have been conservative in their fertilizer use. This approach has been effective in managing environmental impacts as farmers work with agronomists to ensure soil testing, nutrient management, and chemical applications. They continually invest in new equipment and technology to mitigate their environmental impact and product waste.” said SARM President Ray Orb. These further measures make it challenging for our farmers to remain globally competitive and SARM would have liked to see discussions with the federal government, but this topic wasn’t even on the agenda of the recent annual meeting of FPT Ministers of Agriculture, which took place in Saskatchewan. This target has been set by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Bibeau and SARM would have liked to see real discussions before these reductions were put in place. It is important to consult with those who are most knowledgeable but also most affected. Those on the ground with a working knowledge should be the ones to help set goals that are both attainable and won’t devastate entire sectors of an industry.
Some highlights in this package are the Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program (RALP), the boost to the AgriStability compensation rate and the promised Business Risk Management (BMR) program review; all agreed on in principle by the FPT ministers, with details to follow. RALP is receiving $250M to support the ecological goods and services provided by the agriculture sector and promises to be established based on nationally consistent principles, tailored to regional needs and conditions, and be cost-shared and administered by provinces and territories. The AgriStability ag income stabilization program is going to 80 percent, up from the current 70, and is expected to provide another $72 million per year for enrolled farmers. As for other BRM programs operating under the partnership, the ministers committed to a one-year review on “how to integrate climate risk and readiness.” Provinces would identify “potential incentives” and then launch a pilot for producers who adopt environmental practices that also reduce their production risks.
SARM asks that ministers work and consult with industry leaders on new programs and regulations that directly affect agriculture, agri-food, or agri-based products industries.
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Background: SARM is the independent association that represents its membership of rural municipal government in Saskatchewan and is the principal advocate in representing them before senior governments.