Guelph ON – Ontario's fruit and vegetable growers welcome the Ontario government’s decision to increase funding for Ontario’s Risk Management Program, which includes the Self-Directed Risk Management (SDRM) program for edible horticulture farms. This is one of several measures that the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association (OFVGA) has been actively requesting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s funding announcement by Premier Doug Ford and Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman means that growers will see a substantial increase in their SDRM benefits for this program year, one year ahead of the original timelines for this measure.
“We recognize that this government’s platform commitment was for the third year of the their mandate, but given how dramatically our world has changed under COVID-19 and how much greater the risks are that farmers face as a result, we are strongly supportive and appreciative of accelerating implementation,” says Bill George, Chair of the OFVGA. “We believe that this action will be significant and meaningful in addressing the additional risks, increased costs and market instability growers have been facing during the 2020 growing season.”
Growers continue to have access to other existing programs, including federal programs like AgriStability and AgriInvest, and OFVGA continues to advocate for changes to those programs that would improve supports for growers.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Minister Hardeman and Premier Ford for their leadership at the national level to advocate for meaningful improvements to the AgriStability program,” George states. “We are hopeful that federal and other provincial and territorial partners at the table will follow Ontario’s leadership in supporting growers.”Source : OFVGA