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Applications open April 1 for new Business Risk Management programs

It’s now AgriMarketing, AgriCompetitiveness, AgriScience, AgriInnovate, AgriDiversity and AgriAssurance

Farmers can start applying for coverage under the six Business Risk Management programs available when the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) officially launches April 1.

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay made the long-awaited announcement during Canada Agriculture Day celebrations in Ottawa Feb. 16. Some modifications have been made to AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriInsurance, AgriRecovery and AgriRisk.

In addition, the federal government is providing funding over five years for three other initiatives including $297 million to help farmers expand production, $690 million for innovative and sustainable agri-food growth and $166.5 million to strengthen rural communities.

Under these initiatives will be programs called AgriMarketing, AgriCompetitiveness, AgriScience, AgriInnovate, AgriDiversity and AgriAssurance. Some information on them is available on the Agriculture Canada website.

While welcoming the official launch of the CAP programs, farm leaders are focused on gaining a full review by government and producer groups of the BRM programs. The AgGrowth Coalition is conducting an examination of the operation of the six programs that it will share with an 11-member expert panel selected last year to oversee a review by federal and provincial officials of performance of the six BRM programs under Growing Forward 2. AgriStability was found wanting by many producers.

The results of these examinations will be presented to the federal and provincial agriculture ministers at their annual meeting this summer. The coalition hopes that work will lead to program changes during the five-year mandate of CAP to make the programs more responsive to changing conditions in modern agriculture.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a $3-billion, five-year investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada’s agricultural sector. It includes $2 billion in federal, provincial and territorial cost-shared strategic initiatives, and $1 billion for federal activities and programs.

Among the programs is a $297- million fund for growing trade and expanding markets, $690 million for innovation and sustainable growth through research, science and innovation and $166.5 million to assist rural communities through a new Regional Collaborative Partnerships Program.

MacAulay said the measures will help grow Canada’s agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.

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