The 2021-22 Provincial Budget includes a $23.1 million increase to the Ministry of Agriculture budget which will help the industry grow and ensure Saskatchewan producers are able to continue supplying the world with safe, high-quality food. The $386.9 million Agriculture budget represents a six per cent increase from the 2020-21 budget.
"The importance of a secure, reliable and safe food supply chain is essential for our citizens and for our economy," Agriculture Minister David Marit said. "The 2021-22 Agriculture budget will once again fully fund business risk management programs, provide a record level of per-acre coverage under the Crop Insurance Program, continue last year's record investment in agriculture research, and make important investments in irrigation expansion."
The Agriculture budget includes a $20.6 million increase to business risk management funding, compared to 2020-21. This will provide $265 million to fund a suite of business risk management programs, which are delivered as part of the federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP).
The $150.1 million 2021 Crop Insurance Program includes coverage of $273 an acre. This is a new record for per-acre coverage under the Program and represents an $11.1 million increase from 2020-21. The 2021 Crop Insurance Program featured additional options for producers seeking to insure their tame hay acres, an increase in Native Forage Establishment Benefit coverage, updates to the base grade for large-seeded Kabuli chickpeas, the introduction of the Commercial Vegetable Pilot Program, and increases to the establishment benefit values for canola, lentils, chickpeas and corn.
This year's budget also contains an additional $2.0 million for the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, which compensates Saskatchewan producers for crop damage and predation caused by wildlife, to address stronger commodity prices. This program is available to all Saskatchewan producers; you do not need to be an existing Crop Insurance customer to qualify for coverage.
The Ministry of Agriculture remains committed to funding innovation and growth in the industry. The 2021-22 Agriculture budget will also once again include $32.9 million in funding for agriculture research, which matches last year's record level of funding for research.
Additional investments will also be made to expand irrigation in Saskatchewan, with an increased $2.5 million for irrigation development projects. This funding will help to advance projects in areas outside of the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Expansion Project, through existing irrigation development programming. Expanding irrigation is part of Saskatchewan's 2030 Growth Plan. The Growth Plan also aims to increase crop production to 45 million tonnes, increase livestock cash receipts to $3.0 billion, double agriculture value-added revenue to $10 billion and expand agri-food exports to $20 billion.
Once again, the Agriculture budget includes $71.2 million for strategic programs under the CAP agreement. CAP programs provide funding for agricultural research, markets and trade, value-added agriculture, environmental sustainability and public trust.
2020 once again demonstrated the resilience of the Saskatchewan agriculture sector. Producers harvested the second-largest crop on record at more than 39 million tonnes. Saskatchewan agri-food exports also reached a new high last year of $16.9 billion, accounting for more than 55 per cent of total provincial exports in 2020.Source : Saskatchewan.ca