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Canadian agricultural ministers discuss risk management programs


April 13, 2007   by Canadian Underwriter


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Federal and provincial ministers of agriculture met recently in Winnipeg, Manitoba and committed to ongoing collaboration on new business risk management programming for the agricultural industry.
The ministers discussed the continued evolution of a new suite of business risk management programs including the margin-based element, disaster framework, production insurance and savings account programs arising from consultations with the sector.
Ministers recognized that significant progress has been made and have tasked officials to come back with details to enable agreement on the business risk management suite at their annual conference in June [2007], the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) announced in a press release. In support of this, a task team has been formed to develop proposals on funding approaches for the disaster framework for ministerial discussion at the conference.
In November 2006, the agricultural ministers directed officials to consult with farmers to identify and address gaps and make improvements in the business risk management suite. Consultations were carried out across the country, and a number of ideas were put forward, including proposals for contributory-style savings accounts.
To provide for more predictable and bankable programming for farmers, ministers tasked officials to pursue work on the savings account program in consultation with industry and to bring forward details for ministers to review at their annual conference in June, the CICS announced. Ministers established the following program principles: it will be cost-shared; cost-neutral for each government; and, will replace the top tier of the income stabilization element of the business risk management suite.