May 14, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial and federal governments have released details of a new agreement to help New Brunswick farmers under the Growing Forward framework. The announcement follows the signing of the Growing Forward bilateral and contribution agreements by the governments of Canada and New Brunswick on April 1.
"The programs offered through the Growing Forward initiative provide some of the tools that our agriculture industry needs to be competitive, innovative and viable for the long term," said provincial Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette. "We believe the province's resource industries, including agriculture, will remain a cornerstone of New Brunswick's economy and contribute to our government's plan for New Brunswick achieving self-sufficiency."
Growing Forward programs are tailored to meet New Brunswick's diverse requirements. The governments of Canada and New Brunswick have collaborated with farmers to develop the Growing Forward framework.
"Farmers expect all levels of government to work together to drive Canadian agriculture, and this agreement is making that happen," said federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Growing Forward delivers stable and bankable programs that work for farmers. The agreement kick-starts these essential programs in New Brunswick."
Growing Forward is a national agriculture framework to co-ordinate federal, provincial, and territorial agriculture policy. Federal, provincial, and territorial governments are delivering $1.3 billion to farm families over five years. The agreement with New Brunswick will provide about $24.6 million for agriculture in this province for non-business risk management programs. The funding is cost shared 60 / 40 between the federal and provincial governments.
A list of Growing Forward programs in New Brunswick is available online at the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture and at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Following is a backgrounder about the Canada-New Brunswick Bilateral and Contribution agreements. MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul Harpelle, communications, Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218; media relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 613-759-7972 or 1-866-345-7972; Meagan Murdoch, press secretary to federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, 613-759-1059.
Highlights of the Canada-New Brunswick Bilateral and Contribution Agreements
The New Brunswick and federal governments have signed bilateral and contribution agreements. These agreements set out the allocation of federal and provincial funds for non-Business Risk Management (BRM) Growing Forward programs to be offered by New Brunswick.
The non-BRM programs complement existing BRM programming with a greater focus on supporting innovation, commercialization and profitability for the agriculture, agri-food and agri-product sectors. Non-BRM programs offered in New Brunswick include:
Enabling Agricultural Research and Innovation Program: This program is intended to encourage the growth, profitability, sustainability and self-sufficiency of New Brunswick's agriculture, agri-food and agri-product sectors through innovative research and development; pre-commercialization and technology development activities; and on-farm innovation and adoption of new technologies. Application forms and further program details are available online.
Environmentally Responsible Agriculture: This initiative will help producers improve the environmental performance of their operations through specific beneficial management practices and actions in a sustainable and economic way. There will also be a focus on energy conservation and energy audits to help producers be more energy efficient. Application forms and further details will be available in the coming weeks.
Business Development: This program is intended to increase the knowledge and application of business management skills and practices in the New Brunswick agriculture and agri-food industries. Participants will obtain professional services to help them undertake a preliminary evaluation of their business practices and financial situations. Assistance for formal planning as well as support for knowledge transfer and specialized training will be available. Further details will be available in the coming weeks.
Food Safety, Traceability and Biosecurity: This program will support the implementation of on-farm food safety programs, post-farm agri-food safety training and development, and development and implementation of food safety systems. Traceability activities will contribute to the development and implementation of a National Agriculture and Food Traceability System (NAFTS). These activities will encourage the participation of the New Brunswick agriculture and food sector in recognized traceability initiatives. This program will also raise awareness about biosecurity and to implement enhanced biosecurity measures. Further details will be available in the coming weeks.