OTTAWA, ONTARIO — (Marketwire) — 03/04/09 — Farmers from across the country will directly impact the design of the Government of Canada’s new agricultural flexibility program and other key policies through roundtable discussions with Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz this week.
“Farmers told us they need an agricultural flexibility program and this Government is investing $500 million in that initiative through our Economic Action Plan,” said Minister Ritz. “Farmers gave us the vision for the agricultural flexibility program. Now we are working with farmers on the nuts and bolts to make sure the agricultural flexibility program works for the farm gate.”
The $500 million agricultural flexibility program announced in the Economic Action Plan delivers on this Government’s promise to work with the provinces to meet unique regional needs and maximize opportunities. This program builds on this Government’s stable, bankable, farm support programs to provide proactive investments for innovation, environmental initiatives, and marketing opportunities. This program will be delivered in cooperation with provincial and territorial governments over five years.
This week Minister Ritz is holding roundtable meetings with farmers in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta as part of an ongoing commitment to get input directly from farmers when developing agricultural policies. Additional consultations with representatives along the entire value chain will also be held in the coming weeks and months.
“When it comes to agriculture policy, farmers are the most qualified experts out there,” said Minister Ritz. “We are making sure their ideas are the foundation of initiatives such as the agricultural flexibility program.”