By Jill Clark, David Loewen and Morgan Seidler, Policy, Ministry of Agriculture
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) will replace Growing Forward 2 (GF2) on April 1, 2018. To prepare for this transition, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture has been engaging with stakeholders throughout the different stages of CAP development and negotiation.
The first engagement occurred in June 2016 with an in-person consultation to define the key priority areas for Saskatchewan in the development of the next agriculture policy framework. These priorities helped develop the Calgary Statement released in July 2016. An online consultation from November 2016 to January 2017 gathered feedback from both industry and the public on the key priority areas for Strategic Initiatives. In April 2017, the Ministry held an in-person consultation on potential programs in each of the Calgary Statement priority areas and an in depth workshop on business risk management programs.
The most recent consultation took place in Regina on November 30, 2017. Many stakeholder organizations attended, including members from Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), Ag in the Classroom, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association and Saskatchewan Pulse Growers. The day began with an overview of the federal-provincial negotiations that led to the CAP agreement, the proposed CAP Strategic Initiative program suite, initial budget allocations and changes from GF2. The different discussion tables provided participants a detailed update on the proposed programs and an opportunity to suggest feedback on program design.
Discussion focused on programming for:
- Markets and Trade;
- Science, Research and Innovation;
- Environment and Climate Change;
- Assurance and Farm Management;
- Irrigation and Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure;
- Value-Added & Agri-Food Processing; and
- Public Trust.
Feedback from the consultation has been positive, with support for many proposed programs. Participants stressed the importance of focusing on the future, supporting and improving coordination across the sector to address risks, setting research priorities and improving communications and program applications. Participants also identified where industry could contribute to support key initiatives. If you wish to review them, the consultation reports are available online.
The Ministry of Agriculture still has lots to do prior to the roll out of CAP on April 1, 2018. The Multilateral Framework Agreement between the Federal Government and all provinces and territories needs to be officially signed and the Bilateral Agreement between Saskatchewan and Canada negotiated. Industry groups will continue to be consulted as the CAP programs are finalized.
Thank you to all the organizations that have participated in our consultations over the past year and a half. Your input continues to guide our negotiations with the federal government and helps us to design the programs that work best for Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector.