Ag ministers prepare to sign new APF

Several of Canada’s provincial agriculture ministers plan to endorse a new agricultural policy framework at this week’s annual ag ministers’ conference in Quebec City.

The conference, which starts Tuesday, features the release of the new five-year multilateral Growing Forward framework, replacing the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF) developed under the Chretien government and launched in 2003.

“Growing Forward will help the sector deal with new realities more effectively, include greater investment in innovation, and put in place measures to enable farmers to be proactive in managing risk,” said New Brunswick Ag Minister Ron Ouellette in a release Monday.

To make the transition to Growing Forward, the programs under the APF were extended for up to a year, during which time programs in the areas of environment, food safety, innovation and renewal remain in place while the new Growing Forward programming is being developed, the province said.

“The next step will be bilateral negotiations with the federal government to work out details of the programs and initiatives that Growing Forward will deliver for farmers,” the New Brunswick government added.

In a separate release Monday, Quebec Ag Minister Laurent Lessard said he’s satisfied with the content of the new policy framework, particularly the objectives and priorities that correspond with the province’s.

He noted that the new framework recognizes supply management as a risk management program, and cited the framework’s flexibility in programs adapted to the realities of farming in each province.

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