Ontario’s government plans to give itself more latitude to expand its farm production insurance offerings.
The province said Wednesday it’s proposing to amend its Crop Insurance Act and grant itself authority to expand production insurance beyond just crops. That authority already is available to every other provincial government in Canada, the province noted.
“Giving more producers the opportunity to access production insurance will help them better manage risk and encourage greater innovation, profitability and job creation in the agri-food sector,” provincial Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal said in a release.
The new legislation, dubbed the Agriculture Insurance Act, would authorize the provincial government to broaden the scope of its production insurance plan “in the event of unexpected loss of production for agriculture products.”
Ontario as of 2013 offered production insurance on almost 90 commercially grown crops, among them grains, oilseeds, certain fruits and vegetables, forages and honey. Over five million acres, held by over 14,000 producers, were covered, the province said.
Allowing more types of products to be covered, the province said, would fulfill a pledge made to farmers under the federal/provincial Growing Forward 2 (GF2) ag policy funding framework agreement in 2013.
The province on Wednesday didn’t name any specific sectors to which it may expand production insurance. Industry representatives or groups interested in such a plan would be urged to work with the province.
GF2, which took effect in April last year, laid out guidelines by which provinces could develop and implement livestock production insurance plans through the AgriInsurance program.
AgriInsurance-backed programming is delivered in Ontario through Agricorp. — AGCanada.com Network