The Canadian Agricultural Partnership officially comes into effect on April 1, 2018
By Diego Flammini
The federal government announced its priorities for the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), set to replace Growing Forward 2 in the spring.
“Federal government initiatives will address three key priorities,” Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture, told reporters this morning. They are “growing trade and expanding markets, (promoting) innovation and sustainable growth for the sector, and supporting diversity and a dynamic, evolving sector.”
“Canadian farmers and food processors export about half of their production in value. We will help them open new doors in the global market, and help our farmers and food processors adapt innovative products and practices while promoting sustainable and clean growth.”
The provincial and federal governments will also help farmers adapt to climate change issues and promote diversity within the sector to reflect the country’s population, MacAulay added.
The Canadian Government is investing $1 billion into CAP. Provincial and territorial governments together are investing another $2 billion.
Canada busy on the trade front
As a whole, CAP will focus on six priority areas, including value-added agriculture and agri-food processing, risk management, and trade.
And Canada is busy negotiating trade deals in North America and Asia.
Canadian farmers export almost 75 per cent of their peas to India but the Indian government recently announced a 50 per cent import tariff on peas.
“We’re very disappointed in what took place with the Indian government to put that tariff on without consultation,” MacAulay said, adding that three ministers are working to resolve the issue.
Closer to home, Minister MacAulay is keeping a close eye on NAFTA.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland suggested on Nov. 21 that Canadians should “hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” when it comes to NAFTA renegotiations, according to CBC.
Even if NAFTA discussions collapse, CAP will help Canadian farmers adapt to life without this trade agreement, MacAulay said.
“This $3 billion (investment) over five years is there to make sure that we stay on the cutting edge,” he told reporters today. “There’s going to be a great demand for food worldwide and we’re going to make sure our farmers and ranchers are fully prepared to supply that.”