June 9, 2005
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Andy Mitchell and New Brunswick Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister David Alward today announced $4.47 million in funding for environment programs in New Brunswick. These programs will encourage farmers to develop environmental farm plans on a voluntary basis and adopt new technologies and practices to help minimize the impact of agriculture on the environment.
"This package of programs will ensure greater stewardship of our land and water resources," Mitchell said. "We will continue to work with the province on programs which assist producers and contribute to an economic and environmental well being of the agriculture sector."
"Farmers are excellent stewards of the land," Alward said. "We are committed to provide assistance and work collaboratively to protect the resources used by the sector for generations to come."
The Government of Canada contribution of $2.67 million is being provided under the National Environmental Farm Planning (EFP) Initiative and the National Farm Stewardship Program.
The Environmental Farm Planning Program will encourage farmers to undertake an environmental risk assessment of their farm operations, and to develop plans to manage any environmental risk identified. Participating producers will attend an EFP workshop and develop an environmental risk assessment and action plan of their farm operations using the New Brunswick EFP Workbook.
Agreements have been finalized for the delivery of the EFP program. The Agriculture Producers Association of New Brunswick (APANB) and La Fédération des agriculteurs et agricultrices francophones du N.-B. (FAAFNB) will deliver the workshops. The Eastern Canada Soil and Water Conservation Centre will conduct a technical review of individual EFPs. Following the completion of this review, the producer is eligible to apply for financial and technical assistance toward the adoption of beneficial on-farm environmental practices.
The goal is to have an environmental farm plan on all farms in the province by 2008. To date, 560 New Brunswick farms have completed the environmental farm planning process.
The National Farm Stewardship Program will provide cost-shared funding to help producers address the environmental risks identified in their environmental farm plans.
The Province of New Brunswick is providing $1.8 million for four environmental initiatives, including the Agro-Environmental Club Program, Agri-Environmental Portrait, Nutrient Management Planning and Acceptable Practices.
Support to the agro-environmental clubs will help increase producer awareness of environmental issues, conduct environmental farm and nutrient management planning and facilitate the adoption of sustainable farming practices.
The Province will provide a contribution to complete a portrait of farms in New Brunswick. The portrait will provide valuable information with respect to the level of knowledge and adoption of beneficial management and food safety practices on farms in the province. This will enable governments and the agriculture sector to collectively focus efforts to establish priority areas for environmental and other actions.
In the area of nutrient management planning, New Brunswick will provide support for the creation and adoption of nutrient management plans and to develop provincial nutrient management strategies, standards and systems for the agriculture sector.
The province will also be supporting the development and evaluation of acceptable farming practices to facilitate the implementation of the Agricultural Operation Practices Act.
The funding announced today is in addition to $4.8 million in federal- provincial Agricultural Policy Framework funding already at work in New Brunswick under the Agricultural Environment Management Initiative (AEMI). The objective of AEMI is to conserve natural resources and minimize the impact of agriculture on the environment in New Brunswick.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Danielle McFarlane, communications, NB Agriculture Fisheries and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218; Elizabeth Whiting, press secretary, Minister Mitchell's office, 613- 759-1059; Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 613-759-1059, 1-866-345-7072.