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At a two-week virtual conference with federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers of Agriculture, there were important discussions on the future of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs and options for improving AgriStability.
BRM programs aim to provide producers with tools to protect the viability of their operations and to manage risks beyond their control. Over the past 3 years, Alberta has spent an average of $328 million on BRM programming each year and remains committed to find more effective ways to support Alberta food producers.
It was great to see support from across the country for major reforms, and a new alternative program to AgriStability that will provide predictable, timely, and equitable support for every agricultural commodity.
The most popular model to replace AgriStability is a whole farm insurance-based model that would benefit all types of farmers, ranchers and producers.
Alberta fought to maintain funding to AgriInsurance, or crop insurance, to prevent a potential reduction in federal funding. Alberta also acknowledged the importance of immediate short-term agriculture support provided through AgriRecovery.
A good example of AgriRecovery was the Alberta government’s introduction of the fed cattle set-aside program in the spring to help the industry mitigate processing disruptions from COVID-19.
The next FPT meeting will be in July 2021.
Devin Dreeshen served as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry from April 30, 2019 to November 5, 2021.