By Jamie Richards, Director, Communications Branch
Since its launch in April 2018, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) has helped producers improve their sustainability and biosecurity, manage production risk, improve farm safety and much more. While there are still a few years left for producers to access CAP funding, work is already underway to develop the next federal-provincial-territorial agreement.
Over the next two years, officials from across Canada will gather to develop a new policy framework, which is anticipated to be in place from April 2023 to March 31, 2028. The framework will provide funding for a new suite of programs, directly after CAP expires. This timeline offers an exciting opportunity to develop programming that aligns with Saskatchewan's Growth Plan. Released in November 2019, the Growth Plan lays out 30 goals for 2030, many of which are targeted at growing the primary and value-added agriculture sectors, including increasing crop production to 45 million metric tonnes, livestock cash receipts to $3 billion and value-added revenue to $10 billion.
In order to reach a new agreement on the next policy framework, government must consider the total funding available and balance the different priorities in our industry. Governments must also strike the right balance between the unique regional needs of the industry across Canada. This means flexibility is needed to ensure the agreement works for the industry Canada-wide.
To ensure the next suite of programming provides support that works for Saskatchewan producers and agri-businesses, the Ministry of Agriculture needs to hear what's working well, where gaps exist, and how a new suite of programs could address those gaps. As Saskatchewan works on developing a new agreement with its provincial and federal counterparts, there will be opportunities for industry to voice their concerns and share their ideas on how programming can be improved.
Since its launch in 2018, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership has helped hundreds of producers and agribusinesses make strategic improvements to their operations. For example, the Farm Stewardship Program, which supports producers to develop Beneficial Management Practices, has paid $4 million to 795 applicants. The Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program has supported 1,954 applicants to develop secure and sustainable water sources, improve public safety and reduce potential groundwater contamination through well decommissioning. In the processing sector, the Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing program has committed $12 million to agri-businesses to improve productivity and efficiency. These are only a few examples of how funding through federal-provincial agreements supports the agriculture industry. The ministry is looking forward to creating a new suite of programs that will continue to serve the industry in 2023 and beyond.