The following statement is attributable to Bill Campbell, president, Keystone Agricultural Producers.
“Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) sincerely appreciates the effort of both the federal and provincial governments to support the people of Manitoba and Canada during this difficult time. The financial and other accommodations provided to the agriculture industry are helping farmers do their part in this time of great uncertainty.
As an industry, we are concerned that the immediate impact felt by beef, pork, and potato producers in Manitoba could have a lasting effect. Both demand and price have been negatively affected by shifts in consumption and processing capacity.
We recognize that wholesale changes to existing business risk management (BRM) programs are not possible at this time. Through the existing Canadian Agricultural Partnership policy and administrative framework, we have BRM programs that can, with some adjustment, provide effective support for the industry.
On April 14, KAP called for a whole-of-government approach to food security that included:
- A stimulus program under the AgriInvest program of no less than 5% of producers’ 2018 Allowable Net Sales
- A coverage rate of 85% under AgriStability with no reference margin limit in 2020
- Initiation of work to ensure expedited AgriRecovery programming
Those will be important steps to ensure that the current suite of BRM programs is there for those who need it this year. In addition, KAP is calling for a targeted approach for the most affected producers, including:
- Reduced crop insurance premiums for potato producers
- Reduced livestock price insurance premiums
- Targeted advance payments under AgriStability to beef and pork producers
We can appreciate that it has been difficult for the federal and provincial government to decide on improvements to AgriStability that meet government and industry expectations.
There is no better time for us to work together towards larger scale improvements for the next policy framework and build on the programs and supporting administration that what we have now to make it through.”
For more information:
Joey Dearborn, communications coordinator
Keystone Agricultural Producers