The next five-year policy framework that sets the priorities for federal and provincial agriculture programming will deliver $3.5 billion in support, thanks to an extra $500 million for strategic initiatives focused primarily on initiatives addressing sustainable practices and farm resilience in the face of environmental threats.
Appropriately, the new framework has been christened the Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership.
“It will position our sector for continued success as a world leader in environmentally, economically and socially sustainable agriculture,” a press release announcing the agreement stated. “It will enable an innovative and productive internationally competitive sector that can continue to feed Canada and a growing global population at a time when rising costs and global food security are significant concerns.”
Details have yet to be worked out with each province, however. To ensure a smooth transition from the existing Canadian Agricultural Partnership, agreements must be reached by March 31, 2023 – and ideally beforehand.
BC was among the last of the provinces to sign an agreement with Ottawa five years ago. While the agreements are usually signed on or before the date of implementation, the agreement with BC wasn’t announced until mid-April 2018. Ontario, by contrast, had signed its agreement two months earlier in February 2018.
The delay potentially jeopardized the flow of funding to researchers and the organizations which administer the funds.
Details to be worked out in the next agreement include a variety of pilot programs, including one related to interprovincial trade and another that will identify potential programs that could be used as incentives to encourage producers to adopt environmental practices that also reduce production risks.
Negotiations on the bilateral agreements begin in September.