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Ag Ministers To Consult On Risk Programs

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Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Agriculture Departments plan to launch a new round of consultations with producers and ag groups on business risk management (BRM) programs.

The results of these consultations, which will include discussion on “challenges facing the sector” and “opportunities that lie ahead,” are to be reported back to the FPT agriculture ministers at their next meeting, the ministers said in a release after their meeting in Toronto Feb. 5.

The FPT ag ministers’ next scheduled get-together is their annual meeting this summer in Saskatoon, July 6 to 8.

“Governments have a responsibility to listen to producers,” said Saskatchewan Ag Minister Bob Bjornerud, the meeting’s co-chair, in Friday’s release. “Farmers and ranchers are the first people impacted by the policy and programs we create. We need to engage our producers as we work to improve our BRM programming.”

Canada’s governments are also “determined” to ensure programs continue to respond to the ag sector’s needs. To that end, the ministers said they plan to examine options such as livestock insurance.

Federal Ag Minister Gerry Ritz noted that the federal government, through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s new market access secretariat, is also working with the provinces and territories, and with industry, to identify their “market priorities.”

The secretariat, first announced in January last year, is meant to better co-ordinate government initiatives with producers and industry for more strategic market development work.

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