Sask. launches crop insurance review

A review of Saskatchewan’s provincial crop insurance program is officially underway, the provincial government announced Wednesday.

“I said during our budget announcement that we need to fix programs so they work for farmers instead of providing band-aid solutions,” provincial Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud said in a release.

Business consultancy firm Meyers Norris Penny has been named to conduct the review, which is meant to focus on ways to improve the crop insurance program for farmers.

The review is expected to include “extensive consultations” with farmers and research on production insurance programs in other jurisdictions.

The review process is expected to be wrapped up by this fall, and its recommendations considered as part of the 2009 crop insurance program, the province said.

A web site has been set up, as has a toll-free number (1-866-622-2767). Details on how to obtain and fill out a producer survey will be available in May, the province said, as will a schedule of dates, times and locations for public meetings.

Feedback from farmers and farm groups “will be integral to ensuring the review reflects the needs of all Saskatchewan producers,” Bjornerud said.

A review of the government-funded wildlife damage compensation (WDC) program will also take place in tandem with the crop insurance review, the province said. WDC is meant to compensate producers for crop and feed losses due to waterfowl and big game.

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