Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) commends the Government of Manitoba for the introduction of Budget 2023 and is pleased with the appearance of key advocacy issues that have been raised in recent years.
“Increased funding to Manitoba agriculture of $221 million over the next five years through the Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership will provide key support for Manitoba producers,” said KAP president, Jill Verwey. “This includes $103.1 million for AgriInsurance premiums, $8.3 million increase in AgriStability, and $3.1 million increased funding for AgriInvest.”
With continually rising input costs and inflation affecting farmers, it is encouraging to see the implementation of temporary reductions in forage leases over the next three years and increases to loan limits through Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).
“By having a reduction in lease rates of 50 percent, 33 percent, and 15 percent over the next three years, respectively, farmers will receive much needed relief that will help them manage their cashflow,” continued Verwey. “The increase in loan limits through MASC to $500,000 will also help farmers who need access to capital for their operations.”
Support for rural communities is another key highlight in Budget 2023, with an increase of $47 million to municipalities, new capital investments in hospitals, investments to expand the number of veterinarians, and the continued removal of the Education Property Tax on farmland.
“The delivery of the government’s commitment to increase the Education Property Tax Rebate to 50% for 2023 is welcome news for Manitoba farmers,” said Verwey. “We are also pleased to see new hospitals being constructed in Neepawa and Portage la Prairie, as well as funding to increase seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine earmarked specifically for rural, large animal veterinarians that KAP has been advocating for.”
KAP will continue our calls for the complete removal of the Education Property Tax on all farm property, ensuring optimal service levels in rural areas, the development of an education funding model that works for rural Manitobans, and working with government and industry partners on solutions to address labour shortages facing agriculture.
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