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Ottawa seeks feedback on agriculture policy framework, including risk mitigation


August 11, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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The federal government is looking for feedback on its “next agricultural policy framework,” which could entail promoting private-sector risk management tools.

Rotary knob with the word risk turned to mitigateThe first phase of its consultation closed July 31. In the next phase, the government is seeking feedback on the Calgary Statement, released July 22.

“We want your feedback to help shape the direction of future policy and programs for the agriculture and agri-food sector,” states a post on the federal government website. The second phase of consultation closes Nov. 30.

Feedback can be submitted using one of several methods. One is a nine-question questionnaire on the Calgary Statement, issued by Lawrence MacAulay, the federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, as well as the provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture.

Feedback can also be submitted by: email to aafc.npf-pcs.aac@canada.ca, on Twitter using the hash tag #AgNPF and on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s facebook page.

Using regular mail, feedback can be sent to: Next Policy Framework, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1341 Baseline Road, Tower 7, Floor 5, Room 300, Ottawa ON, K1A 0C5.

The ministers said in the Calgary Statement that under the next policy framework, federal provincial and territorial governments will “collaborate with industry to drive the sustainable growth, innovation and competitiveness of the sector.”

This will be achieved in several ways including “anticipating, mitigating and responding to risks in a manner that supports the sustainable growth of the sector,” the ministers added.

The next policy framework “will continue to focus on enabling risk management actions and facilitate a resilient sector” in several ways. One is by “promoting development of private sector risk management tools.” Another is by ensuring producers “continue to have a suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs that are comprehensive in scope and effective in helping manage the impacts of production losses, severe market volatility, extreme events and disasters while seeking to improve participation, timeliness, simplicity and predictability.”

The agricultural sector “faces significant risks such as extreme weather events, disease/pests and market volatility,” the ministers said in the Calgary Statement. “These risks can cause severe losses and threaten the viability of businesses. Effective risk management, mitigation and adaptation includes surveillance activities, early identification of emerging risks; fostering solutions through science and innovation; growing and diversifying markets; effective assurance systems; strong regulatory approaches; and effective business management practices including the use of private and public-sector financial instruments.”

Current government programs include AgriInsurance, which is delivered by the provinces while Ottawa contributes a portion of premiums and administrative costs.

AgriInsurance covers production losses “as well as loss of product quality and both yield and non-yield based plans,” the federal government states. “These plans cover traditional crops such as wheat, corn, oats and barley as well as horticultural crops such as lettuce, strawberries, carrots and eggplants. Some provinces also provide coverage for bee mortality as well as maple syrup production.”

For AgriInsurance, the federal government provides a reinsurance arrangement (deficit financing) for Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia).