June 3, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Federal-Provincial Investment | $955 million to support sustainable agriculture in Quebec

Federal-Provincial Investment |  $955 million to support sustainable agriculture in Quebec

(Montreal) Quebec and Canada officially signed their new agricultural partnership for the next five years on Monday. With a budget of 955 million, it aims to finance various insurance programs for farmers and subsidize sustainable practices in agriculture.

In Canada, agriculture is a partnership jurisdiction. Therefore several programs are jointly funded. In this case, Canada will extend 573 million and Quebec, 382 million.

This new version of the “Strategic Framework” is a 25% improvement over 2018-2023, representing approximately $97 million in additional funding.

When the agreement was signed in Montreal on Monday morning, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and her provincial counterpart, Minister André Lamontagne, jokingly compared the exercise to a wedding. Martin Caron, president of the Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA), and Sylvie Cloutier, president and CEO of the Quebec Food Processing Council (CTAQ), also signed the document as “witnesses.”

“It’s a great day! », Minister Bibeau started from the beginning.

Increased green initiatives

A 367 million envelope will be available to Quebec over five years for sustainable financial support for agricultural practices: reduction of GHG emissions, reduction in the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, cover crops, rotational pastures, energy efficiency. This is an increase of 73 million.

“We have 29,000 farms that are registered in Quebec. Ultimately, they are likely to have access to some funds to improve the practices they have in the field,” Minister LaMontagne emphasized.

A portion of the funds will be used to expand the number of farmers eligible for a financial reward program for producers who adopt better environmental practices on the farm.

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So far, nearly 3,000 companies have signed up for the program, which aims to financially reward biodiversity-friendly agri-environmental practices such as expanded riparian strips or windbreak hedges.

“The increase in budgets is a step in the right direction. This sets the table for agriculture to face the challenges of the 21ste century The sustainability aspect is important to us in Quebec. Moreover, producers are mobilized, but there are still problems,” said Martin Caron.

A second envelope, 588 million, will be dedicated to financing “risk management” programs. They are crop insurance, sustainability insurance and investment insurance programs. $24 million has been raised to account for the impacts of climate change on climate conditions.