AgriInvest doesn’t exist, yet

Dave Levick from Porcupine Plain, Sask., called to say that he hasn’t been able to make a deposit in his AgriInvest account. In fact, he can’t even OPEN an account to deposit the 1.5 per cent of eligible net sales for 2007 that he qualifies to deposit under the program rules.

Dave called after reading the short article, “AgriInvest helps with cash flow,” on page 3 of the December issue. He says the article is wrong. He says AgriInvest can’t “help with cash flow,” as the headline suggests, because “it doesn’t exist.” Grainews contacted Ellen Funk, one of our contacts with the program’s administration office in Winnipeg. Turns out that Dave has raised a very important point.

The government is still working with the banks and financial institutions to get a system set up for these farmer accounts, Ellen says. So Dave is right. You can’t open an account and make a deposit right now, even if you wanted to.

Grainews asked Ellen if the government would make its matching deposits available for withdrawal even though farmers couldn’t make their own deposits. (For each dollar you deposit in your AgriInvest account, the government puts a dollar in an account that it holds for you.) Ellen says they’re “working towards” that possibility.

Meantime, the only AgriInvest money available to you is your share of the original $600 million Kickstart amount, which was announced in 2007. At that time, you had a choice to take the money right away or deposit it in a government account under your name. If you took the money right away, AgriInvest can do nothing to help you with current cash flow shortages. If it’s still there waiting for you, call 1-866-367-8506 to withdraw some or all of it.

Thanks for the tip, Dave.

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