The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and stakeholders across the food supply chain have been urging Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to return the AgriStability program back to the levels it held in 2013.
Last week Agriculture and Agri-food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau put forward a proposal from the Government of Canada to improve the AgriStability program.
The federal proposal is as follows:
The removal of the Reference Margin Limits (RML)
No change to the Agri-Stability trigger of 70% but an increase of payment levels from 70 to 80%
Both of these changes would be retroactive for 2020
The government's analysis has shown that the removal of the RML would increase support for farmers in need across Canada by over 30%, and that both of the changes above would increase spending by over 50%.
CFA says these programs have been under review for years, and Minister Bibeau is the first Minister to deliver real action on this issue since 2013 by putting forth this proposal.
The group notes that while the FPT statement released demonstrates that some progress has been achieved - all levels of government need to come together and finalize an agreement over the coming weeks.
"AgriStability has not provided a sufficient financial backstop for farmers since the cuts were made in 2013 and these shortcomings have been magnified by the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry. Canada's Business Risk Management programs no longer reflect the risk profile of Canadian agriculture and must be improved," said Mary Robinson, CFA President. "CFA is very supportive of the proposed increased support put forth by Minister Bibeau. Our farm supports are still lagging far behind the EU and US. While these proposals are not exactly what we were seeking, they are a very positive step forward for the business environment of Canadian agriculture,"
CFA says it will continue to work with the governments to improve these programs so that they provide a meaningful backstop to Canadian farmers who face financial difficulties because of events beyond their control.Click here to see more...