UPA sets its priorities
Members of the Union des Producteurs Agricole (UPA), its twelve regional federations and twenty-seven special groups, while together in Levis to discuss farming challenges and the priorities of the autumn, reported their main accomplishments since last December. A clear message was also sent to the Quebec government: “Agriculture here has a future if the farmers from here have support equivalent to what is given to European and American producers. Quebec and Canada could and should do more,” said the president of the UPA, Marcel Groleau, adding that their international competitors continue to be supported by aggressive agricultural policies as their governments have identified the farming industry as an important economic lever. Quebec statistics When comparing the Quebec farming sector to the rest of Canada, particularly to that of Ontario, there are reasons to be worried. According to Statistics Canada, spending on fixed assets in the Quebec agricultural sector went from $496 million to $609 million (+ 23 %) between 2006 and 2015. During the same period, in Canada the spending went from $1.6 billion to $4.2 billion (+ 160 %). In Ontario, investments went from $722 million to $1.4 billion (+ 94 %).
Spending in research and development of businesses in the Quebec farm sector went down by 30 % between 2008 and 2015, from $199 million to $139 million in food transformation, and $105 million to $73 million in farm production.