Federal and provincial governments commit $485M to Saskatchewan agriculture programs

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan agriculture sector receives $485 million in federal, provincial support for sustainability: minister'
Saskatchewan agriculture sector receives $485 million in federal, provincial support for sustainability: minister
Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit spoke alongside Minister of Rural Economic Development Gudie Hutchings on Monday to announce $485 million in support for a five-year sustainable agriculture program. Marit said the funding will support initiatives like soil research to improve field longevity. Hutchings added that Saskatchewan farmers can look forward to more support as global demand increases – Mar 20, 2023

Funding from both the federal and provincial governments will be going to programs in Saskatchewan that aim to build the agriculture sector.

That’s according to the government of Saskatchewan, which says $485 million, of which 40 per cent is funded by the province, will be going towards initiatives under the five-year Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

“Through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, we are investing in the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the agriculture sector, while ensuring the resilience of supply chains,” said Gudie Hutchings, federal minister of rural economic development.

“These programs and initiatives will create new ways for producers in Saskatchewan and processors to continue to improve their competitiveness while protecting our environment.”

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The province said under this agreement, there is a focus on agricultural research, support for water development, an increased funding cap in the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program and a larger per-acre payment under the Irrigation Development Program.

“The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership will help build on the great work already happening in the agriculture industry in Saskatchewan,” said Saskatchewan agriculture minister David Marit.

“This investment will see enhancements to existing programs and the introduction of new programs to position us to continue on our sustainability journey, while ensuring the sector continues to grow, prosper and remain competitive.”

The province said the programs will focus on five areas:

  • $176.6 million for building sector capacity, growth and competitiveness
  • $53.4 million for climate change and environmental sustainability
  • $40.2 million for resiliency and public trust
  • $2 million to assist the industry with market development and trade
  • $175 million for science, research and innovation

Applications for federal programs started being accepted on March 6, with programs going into effect at the beginning of April.

The new agreement also goes into effect on April 1, and will be in place until March 31, 2028.

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Ian Boxall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, said this money shows that both the feds and the province see the value of the agriculture sector.

“You’re always going to see now with funding from the federal government, there’s always going to be an environmental spin on all of it. I’m hoping that is rolled out in a way that benefits producers,” Boxall said.

He said he’s hoping it’s done in a way that’s useable, and that the research going into this shows where those environmental benefits can be made.

Boxall noted that Saskatchewan farmers don’t get recognition for the moves towards sustainability they make, adding he’d like to see some of the research focus on how environmentally sound some of their practices are.

Back in July when the updated partnership was announced, concerns were brought up regarding high input costs, labour shortages and supply chain shortages within agriculture.

Boxall said concerns towards high input costs remain.

“We’re still seeing some pretty high prices for inputs that we use every day on the farm.”


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