Car­lier in Ot­tawa to dis­cuss farm pro­grams

Edmonton Journal - - CITY - EMMA GRANEY egraney@post­ twit­­maLGraney

A pro­gram that has pro­vided $400 mil­lion to Al­berta agri­cul­ture pro­duc­ers over the last five years will ex­pire in March, but there is hope a new agree­ment will be sorted out by then.

Oneil Car­lier joined his fel­low pro­vin­cial, ter­ri­to­rial and fed­eral agri­cul­ture min­is­ters in Ot­tawa Wed­nes­day as they be­gin pre­lim­i­nary work on Grow­ing For­ward, a $3-bil­lion scheme that forms the foun­da­tion for gov­ern­ment agri­cul­tural pro­grams.

Car­lier thinks the pro­gram serves Al­berta pro­duc­ers quite well, so he’s not go­ing to the ta­ble with a lengthy list of de­mands.

Yet, ad­verse weather cre­ated un­prece­dented chal­lenges for Al­berta farm­ers this year, and Car­lier knows that has put pres­sure on the Grow­ing For­ward agri­cul­ture in­sur­ance pro­gram.

While that pro­gram works well “for the most part,” he said, he wouldn’t want to see any cash si­phoned away from it.

Car­lier said the other area that needs work is the AgriSta­bil­ity pro­gram, which pro­vides sup­port for pro­duc­ers who ex­pe­ri­ence a large margin de­cline.

“That work con­tin­ues, but it will be some time yet be­fore we can say we’ve made changes to it,” Car­lier said.

“Still, I re­main op­ti­mistic that we can con­tinue with what works well, and change what doesn’t work so well.”

The min­istry has al­ready reached out to pro­duc­ers, pro­ces­sors and folks in the re­search world to get their thoughts on the next Grow­ing For­ward pol­icy frame­work, with a se­ries of round­tables in Red Deer, Leth­bridge and Grande Prairie, and pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions on­line.

Car­lier said he might also look at the re­sults from mar­ket anal­y­sis the Agri­cul­ture Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Cor­po­ra­tion will kick off next month.

The next set of Grow­ing For­ward dis­cus­sions will be held in July in St. John’s, N.L.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.