OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 1, 2013) - April 1 marks the official launch of the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) policy framework for Canada's agricultural and agri-food sector. GF2 is a $3 billion dollar investment by federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments and the foundation for government agricultural programs and services over the next five years.
"The Harper Government remains focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. We are working with Canadian farmers to move the agriculture and agri-food industry forward to adapt, innovate and compete in markets at home and abroad," said Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Growing Forward 2 delivers what the sector needs to position Canadian farmers, producers and processors for growth and prosperity in the years ahead."
The agriculture and agri-food sector is an important contributor to Canada's economy. The Canadian agriculture and agri-food system accounts for 8.0% of total GDP (or $101.1 billion) and employs 2.1 million people.
GF2 programs will focus on innovation, competitiveness and market development to ensure Canadian producers and processors have the tools and resources they need to continue to innovate and capitalize on emerging market opportunities.
GF2 includes $2 billion cost-shared on a 60:40 basis for programs delivered by provinces and territories, and $1 billion for federally delivered strategic initiatives. Under GF2, FPT cost-shared investments will increase by 50% and provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility to tailor programs to local needs.
In addition, GF2 includes an effective suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs to help farmers manage risk due to severe market volatility and disaster situations. Governments will also assist the industry in its efforts to research, develop and implement new agricultural risk management tools.
The Harper Government recently announced details of its three GF2 federal programs: AgriInnovation, AgriMarketing and AgriCompetitiveness. Together, these programs aim to accelerate the pace of innovation, improve competitiveness in domestic and international markets, and help the sector adapt to emerging global and domestic opportunities, as well as enhance business and entrepreneurial capacity.
Bilateral negotiations between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments to finalize details of the cost-shared programs are well underway. Specific provincial and territorial programs will be announced as they become available.
For more information on federal programs or links to provincial and territorial government websites, please visit the Growing Forward 2 page (www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2).