Harper Government Signs Next Generation Agricultural Framework (Growing Forward 2) with Provincial Counterparts
OTTAWA, September 18, 2012 – The Harper Government, along with his provincial and territorial counterparts, signed the next generation agricultural framework, Growing Forward 2. This framework serves to replace the Growing Forward agriculture framework set to expire in March 2013.
“The new five-year agreement includes an investment of over $3 billion in innovation,” said Randy Hoback, the Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Prince Albert. “This represents a 50% increase in cost-shared investments in innovation, competitiveness and market development.”
Governments are transforming agricultural policy in Canada to increase focus on proactive and strategic investments that move the sector forward. A critical element of this transformative agenda is enhanced coordination and collaboration, and prioritizing activities along the innovation continuum to increase productivity, reduce costs, and advance sustainability.
Key highlights of the new framework include a complete and effective suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs to protect against severe market volatility and disasters, greater flexibility for provinces and territories to tailor programs to local needs, ongoing support for farmers with the full suite of risk management programs and exploring of the development of private sector risk management tools. This new framework will also refocus investments on innovation and markets in order to fuel long-term growth across the sector and ensure our farmers have the tools necessary to be more competitive and boost their bottom lines.
“Governments will continue to be there for farmers in cases of significant drops in income and disaster situations,” added MP Hoback. “At the same time, we’re refocusing investments on innovation in order to fuel long-term growth across the sector and economic prosperity for all Canadians.”
In line with the Harper Government’s efforts to create jobs, growth and long term prosperity for Canada, the Government also announced the creation of an Agri-Innovators’ Committee to provide expert advice on agriculture research and development to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada on agricultural innovation.
Comprised of representatives from across Canada and an array of agricultural sectors, the Committee will draw upon a broad range of expertise and skills to facilitate greater government-industry-academia collaboration. This new Committee would work in parallel to other committees, including the National Program Advisory Committee (NPAC) which focuses on business risk management.
Canada’s agriculture industry creates 1 in 8 jobs (2 million jobs nationally) and accounts for eight percent (8%) of our GDP. With over forty-four billion dollars ($44B) in exports, we are the world’s fifth (5th) largest exporter of food and seafood. Growing Forward 2 will increase investments for innovation, market development and competitiveness.