Government of Canada and Prince Edward Island Launch Flexible and Innovative Growing Forward Programs for Producers
Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Honourable George Webster today announced details of new agricultural programs for farmers in Prince Edward Island under the Growing Forward framework. The announcement follows the signing of the Growing Forward bilateral and contribution agreements by the Government of Canada and Prince Edward Island earlier this week.
"Farmers expect all levels of government to work together to drive Canadian agriculture and this agreement is making that happen," said Minister Ritz. "Growing Forward delivers stable and bankable programs that work for farmers. The agreement we signed will kick-start the rollout of these essential programs in Prince Edward Island."
"This agreement supports the new and ongoing initiatives we are taking on behalf of the agriculture industry in this province," said Mr. Webster. "The continued cooperation of both levels of government and the industry will help to ensure it is able to move forward into a new era."
Growing Forward is a national agriculture framework to coordinate federal and provincial agriculture policy. Federal, provincial and territorial governments are delivering $1.3 billion for farm families over five years. Today's agreement with Prince Edward Island provides approximately $14.7 million in federal funding for non-business risk management programs over the next four years. When combined with the provincial contribution, total cost-shared funding for non-business risk management programs is approximately $24.6 million.
The new agreement will support initiatives in the areas of innovation and research, business planning, organic industry development and environmental stewardship. Further funding is also being provided to the Future Farmer program.
A new suite of business risk management programs under Growing Forward was announced in April 2008 to replace and renew former programs.
Growing Forward programs are tailored with the flexibility to meet Prince Edward Island's diverse regional requirements. The Government of Canada and Province of Prince Edward Island have worked with farmers every step of the way to develop the Growing Forward framework.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CANADA-PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND BILATERAL AND CONTRIBUTION AGREEMENTS
The Government of Canada and the province of Prince Edward Island have concluded negotiations and have signed bilateral and contribution agreements. The agreements set out the allocation of federal and provincial funds for non-Business Risk Management (BRM) Growing Forward programs to be offered by Prince Edward Island.
The non-BRM programs are designed to complement existing BRM programming with a greater focus on supporting innovation, commercialization and profitability for the sector. Non-BRM programs being launched in the province of Prince Edward Island include the following.
Agriculture Innovation Program:
The Agriculture Innovation Program was established to provide assistance for innovative projects that will yield positive economic benefits within the Prince Edward Island agricultural industry.
Agriculture Research Fund:
The Agriculture Research Fund was designed to support the undertaking of short-term applied research that will yield economic benefits to the PEI agriculture industry.
Business Development Programs would provide skills training, business practices assessment and business planning assistance.
Future Farmer Program:
The objective of this program is to promote the entry of new farmers to the industry and improve the probability of new entrants establishing profitable and sustainable farm businesses.
The Department of Agriculture is committed to the development of rural youth and their participation in the farm community.
Organic Industry Development Program:
This is a comprehensive program designed to accelerate the adoption of certified organic production and processing technology; encourage strategic growth and market development; and implement competitive weed and pest management practices.
Food Safety Systems Implementation:
This initiative will assist producers with the adoption of national on-farm food safety systems and associated good production practices through financial incentives.
The Environmental Farm Program (EFP) program provides a voluntary, confidential self-assessment process for farmers to evaluate the environmental risks and strengths of their operations and develop a plan to address those risks and strengths.
Canada - PEI Stewardship Program:
The Stewardship Program provides financial and technical support to help protect the quality of soil, water, air and biodiversity resources.
Alternative Land Use (ALUS):
ALUS is a voluntary environmental program for Prince Edward Island's agricultural landscape. The program focuses on ecological goods and services - the benefits society derives from healthy ecosystems.
Source: Government of Prince Edward Island
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