Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

July 04, 2012 18:30 ET

Agriculture Minister Ritz Sits Down With Farmers in Kitchener-Conestoga Area

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 4, 2012) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz sat down with farmers from the Kitchener - Conestoga area today to get their input on agriculture policies and to let them know about the many ways that the Harper Government is creating economic growth and prosperity. Local member of Parliament Harold Albrecht (Kitchener - Conestoga) hosted the roundtable discussion.

"Our government remains focused on creating jobs, growth, and long-term economic prosperity for all Canadians," said Minister Ritz. "Through Economic Action Plan 2012, our government is providing targeted investments that help create opportunity for our farm families."

Minister Ritz highlighted the Harper Government initiatives that are helping farmers make their living from the marketplace, become more innovative, and better manage risk. These initiatives include:

  • A $50-million Agricultural Innovation Program to facilitate innovation and adoption of new products, technologies, and processes that enhance economic growth, productivity, and competitiveness;
  • Efforts to open, reopen, and expand market access for Canadian farmers and producers, who last year exported agriculture products valued at more than $44 billion;
  • A $500-million loan program through Farm Credit Canada to ensure that young and beginning farmers can start or grow their businesses; and
  • Strong and consistent defense of Canada's supply management system.

Building on industry's call for more market access, market development, and innovation, Minister Ritz and MP Albrecht used the opportunity to consult on the next suite of agriculture programming. Just as farmers review their business practices on a regular basis, the Harper Government is reviewing its programs to make sure that they will help the sector become more competitive over the long term. As the outlook for the agriculture sector is positive, with many commodities currently experiencing record high incomes and showing strong growth prospects, the time is right to make sure that agriculture programs are having the greatest impact on the future. The Harper Government will continue to invest in science and innovation to keep Canadian farmers efficient and competitive while providing predictable, stable, and bankable programs to help farmers weather any disasters.

"Our government will continue to promote science-based trade rules for our farmers, producers, and processors so farmers in Kitchener-Conestoga and all of Canada can earn their living from the marketplace," said MP Albrecht. "We are constantly listening to farmers to ensure that the next suite of agriculture programs focus on innovation, market access, and regulatory reform that supports a sustainable future for Canadian agriculture."

This roundtable was part of ongoing consultations with farmers and agricultural stakeholders.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Jeffrey English
    Press Secretary
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz