KAP membership includes agricultural commodity organizations that under The Agricultural Producers' Organization Funding Act collect fees through deductions made by purchasers of agricultural products. This “checkoff” is an important element of Manitoba’s research capacity.
KAP believes that research funding should be a partnership between producers and both levels of government, and that all partners should participate in establishing the focus of research. Producer support for research should be provided through a mandatory checkoff.
At the same time, we recognize that some of our commodity group members represent commodities for which sales volume do not generate sufficient research investment. For those groups, the requirement to provide matching industry dollars limits the research and the potential for diversified agricultural production.
From a capacity perspective, funding should be made available for niche crop and livestock research outside of the strict 50-50 cost share.
Research priorities – economic impact analysis
Commodity groups fund a significant portion of agriculture research in Manitoba but the benefits to farmer margins is not always apparent or well understood.
KAP believes that greater priority and resources should be put into economic impact analysis of agriculture research, government policies and market trends and challenges. Often governments and researchers assume that advances upstream in areas such as genomics, or downstream in processing will result in improved margins for farmers, but without tangible proof.
The commodity groups can speak to research priorities related to the production and marketing of their particular products. In addition to those, KAP policy outlines support for:
1. Research and development of alternative energy products and encourages the use of a variety of programs to facilitate this development so it benefits Manitoba’s rural communities.
2. Environmental research focused on agriculture.
3. Research into new control technologies for weeds, especially noxious weeds.