The following statement is attributable to Bill Campbell, president, Keystone Agricultural Producers.
“The Government of Manitoba’s recent response to the changes to AgriStability proposed by the Government of Canada is discouraging and disappointing. Producers and farm groups have sent a unanimous message of support for the proposal and need to know what Manitoba has decided.
Yet with time running out, it remains unclear if Manitoba will support these enhancements or walk away and leave millions of dollars on the table. To do so will represent a failure to protect producers and jeopardize the agriculture industry into the future.
KAP has continually called on both the provincial and federal governments to strengthen Business Risk Management (BRM) programming for producers. Through the existing Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) framework, BRM programs can, with some adjustment, provide effective support for the industry.
Our members have stressed that the reference margin limit inhibits their ability to access AgriStability. Removing the reference margin limit will help simplify the program and effectively lower the payment trigger for lower-cost operations. By increasing the compensation rate from 70% to 80%, AgriStability will be more effective for those who suffer a significant loss.
KAP recently coordinated a joint letter from all Manitoba farm groups strongly encouraging the Government of Manitoba to ratify the changes to AgriStability proposed by the Government of Canada in November 2020. While this proposal is not a comprehensive solution, it represents a positive step to support producers and a bridge forward to the next CAP framework.
We encourage Minister Pedersen to acknowledge the fulsome support of producers and farm groups for the federal AgriStability proposal. To disregard this support suggests the Minister will not stand up for Manitoba’s agriculture industry. 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.”
For more information:
Graham Schellenberg, Communications and Government Relations Coordinator
Keystone Agricultural Producers