CFA urges government to invest in agriculture for the economy
For more information, please contact:
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
(OTTAWA, Jan. 19, 2009) -- The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is urging the government to make an investment in agriculture in the federal budget it presents January 27.
"The Canadian agri-food sector is a vital generator of economic activity, jobs and export goods for our nation," said CFA 1st Vice-President Laurent Pellerin. "Our hope is that the government will agree maintaining the viability of this sector through the current economic crisis, as well as taking advantage of new domestic and export-oriented marketing opportunities is a worthwhile investment for rural Canada and the nation."
The CFA is makifng a number of budget recommendations that would help Canadian agriculture grow and continue to contribute to the economy, especially if there are lean years ahead. Those recommendations include:
- Committing adequate funding to ensure the much-needed and long-awaited programs currently being developed under the 'Growing Forward' policy framework, targeted for implementation April 1, are a success.
- Recommending extending the repayment schedule for the emergency Advance Payment Programs by an additional year to assist in addressing the ongoing crisis in the livestock sector by, and provide whatever additional support may be required in addressing the needs of livestock farmers as well as maintaining the processing, transportation and marketing infrastructure, through this difficult period.
- Recognition that the Canadian agri-food sector, including primary producers, is reliant on available and accessible short and long-term credit for their operations - and concerns continue to rise on the availability and access to credit. The government must ensure that existing credit tools such as FCC and the regular cash advance programme are given adequate funds to meet demand. The CFA is recommending the government work with groups such as the CFA to determine the extent of the problem and develop effective and appropriate responses by implementing a credit and market intelligence task force composed of representatives from government, lending institutions, and the agriculture value chain.
- Encouraging the Government to fulfill its election promise by enacting Agri-Flex, a proposed federal/provincial funding envelope which would allow specific regions and commodities to tailor situationally specific programming necessary for addressing this economic crisis.
- Encouraging the Government to immediately meet its pledge of reducing diesel fuel excise taxes by 2 cents/litre.
"Canadian farmers recognize all too well the fiscal and economic challenges facing Canada and the government and the need for a true economic stimulus package," said Ron Bonnett, CFA 2nd Vice-President. "These measures we have outlined represent sound investments that will generate a beneficial return for Canada, whatever the fiscal future may bring by investing in the an industry benefits all Canadians by contributing significantly to the Canadian economy, providing safe and affordable food and a clean and sustainable environment."
To read the complete CFA pre-budget submission, click here.