Income stability, insurance effectiveness, payment security highlighted in KAP’s agenda
Keystone Agricultural Producers addressed a number of issues brought forward by delegates at its fall General Council, October 25 in Portage la Prairie. Issues addressed included program funding shortfalls, income stability programming, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation programs, beef-processing shortcomings, and payment security protection for farmers.
Following is a detailed list of resolutions passed at the meeting:
Income stability programs
Due to erratic weather from climate change that can cause production challenges and serious declines in revenue that are beyond producers’ control, KAP will continue to voice its concerns to the Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba regarding their lack of meaningful commitment to the AgriStability and AgriInvest programs. These programs were set up to assist farmers affected by severe reductions in income, but will no longer effectively do so.
Growing Forward program funding allocation
Due to producers’ applications being accepted for the Agri-Advisor and Agri-Skills program six months after funding ran out – with some applicants undertaking a portion of their project work at their own expense with the understanding that their applications were going to be approved and their costs reimbursed – KAP will request that Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives and Manitoba Finance investigate and report on how funds originally allocated for Agri-Advisor and Agri-Skills were spent.
KAP will also request that the Office of the Auditor General investigate the allocation and expenditure of funding from the Innovation Suite of programs under the Growing Forward policy framework, in particular the Agri-Skills and Agri-Advisor program.
Beef cattle industry fallout from XL Foods crisis
As a result of XL Foods’ approach to food safety that has caused a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the Canadian beef industry and disruption to producers, KAP will encourage the Government of Canada to take more responsibility for on-site inspections of livestock processing plants.
Producer payment security
Due to two specific instances where producers were not paid for livestock or feed grain because unbonded purchasers entered into bankruptcy protection, and because of a continued risk for farmers dealing with these type of purchasers, KAP will ask the federal and provincial governments to look at establishing a system that will offer protection through a producer payment security mechanism.
MASC operations review
Because Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s operations have not been substantively reviewed in over 10 years – and some programs may not be keeping pace with the major changes in farm production methods, technology, knowledge, and types of crops – KAP will work with crop commodity group members to review program design and administration.
KAP will then make recommendations for improvements to the Manitoba government.
MASC hail insurance appeals
As a result of variations in hail adjustments, along with an unsatisfactory appeal process, KAP will review the MASC hail insurance adjustment appeal process and ask for a more-consistent process by an independent body.