Federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers have reached a new deal on a five-year agricultural policy framework at the annual meeting in Saskatoon on Friday.
The new agreement known as “Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership” (SCAP) will replace the current deal called Canadian Agricultural Partnership which expires end of March 2023.
$500 million in new funds brings the total funding envelope to about $3.5 billion. During the press conference Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture said that this goes in line with the 25 percent increase that provinces were seeking during negotiations.
“We were happy when the federal government put that offer on the table,” he said.
Part of the deal is a $250-million Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program to support ecological goods and services provided by the agriculture sector.
The federal minister says they expect a 3 to 5 MT reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the program, “measured by a more robust results strategy…and will include improved data-sharing and reporting.”
Saskatchewan and Alberta Minister of Agriculture noted the target is rather arbitrary in a release sent out just before the press conference began Friday.
“Fertilizer emissions reduction was not even a topic on the agenda of the annual meeting of Federal-Provincial-Territorial ministers of agriculture, who just finished 3 days of meetings in Saskatchewan. Provinces pushed the federal government to discuss this important topic, but were disappointed to learn that the target is already set. The commitment to future consultations are only to determine how to meet the target that Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Bibeau have already unilaterally imposed on this industry, not to consult on what is achievable or attainable,” read a statement by the Government of Saskatchewan communications technician, Leslie Macleod.
“This has been the most expensive crop anyone has put in, following a very difficult year on the prairies,” Alberta Minister of Agriculture Nate Horner said. “The world is looking for Canada to increase production and be a solution to global food shortages. The Federal government needs to display that they understand this. They owe it to our producers.”
The AgriStability compensation rate is also being raised by 10 per cent starting in 2023, which has been a consistent ask across the industry according to Marit.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said it is a commitment to finish negotiations on a new AgriStability model that is meant to be faster, simpler and more predictable within the next year.
Concerns of high input costs, labour shortages and supply chain shortages were also addressed. Bibeau mentioned there will be research done and programs put in place to help combat those concerns.
Marit added that Saskatchewan has been a champion of more effective fertilizer use while staying on track with being competitive, having continued growth and still addressing global food security.
Each province will also be undertaking their own pilot programs “to explore opportunities to further integrate climate risk to identify incentives and conduct a pilot for producers who adopt environmental practices that also reduce production risks.”
Producers that have net sales of $1 million or more will also need an agri-environmental risk assessment completed by 2025 in order to receive AgriInvest contributions.