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Quebec, feds put up $60M for farm adaptation

“Adaptation measures” to help Quebec farmers and agribusinesses better develop the ag sector in the province are to get over $58 million in federal and provincial funds over four years.

The federal and provincial governments on Friday announced the funding for three “complementary initiatives,” including $35 million from the federal Agricultural Flexibility Fund and $23.33 million from Quebec’s Strategie de soutien a l’adaptation des entreprises agricoles.

Two of the initiatives, the Initiative d’appui aux services-conseils and the Initiative d’appui a la modernisation, are expected to provide farms and farm businesses with “targeted tools” that will help them improve their management capacity, the governments said.

A third program, the Initiative d’accompagnement des secteurs dans leur developpement, is to support farmers’ associations or groups in planning and implementing measures that promote “innovation, adaptation and the value chain.”

The added funding “provides producers with made-to-measure financial support, but also makes available new sectoral assistance that will complement Quebec’s Strategie de soutien a l’adaptation des entreprises agricoles and ensure the development of the biofood industry in Quebec,” provincial Ag Minister Laurent Lessard said in Friday’s release.

The province’s Strategie de soutien, announced last month, includes funding for business counselling services, on-farm financial analysis and projects to modernize improve competitiveness, and interest relief for cash-strapped farmers in mid-restructuring.

That $100 million, five-year strategy was set up to help Quebec’s farmers adjust to planned changes in the support formula for the province’s ag income stabilization program (ASRA).

“Our government recognizes the need to assist regional initiatives in helping farmers and agri-businesses adjust and supporting the sector’s development through major financial support,” Quebec MP Jean-Pierre Blackburn, the federal minister of state for agriculture, said in the same release.

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