The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) has created a task force to prepare its recommendations for the federal and provincial government’s Next Policy Framework (NPF). The NPF consultations will result in a new 5-year federal-provincial agricultural funding agreement, which will begin in 2023.
The provincial and federal governments are expected to finalize a shared policy direction statement this fall and begin discussions on the details of the program’s design.
“Federal-provincial agreements set out the direction of most of the important government programming for agriculture, and it’s time to renew our approach,” APAS President Todd Lewis said. “Funding has not changed over the last two agreements, but our agricultural production has increased, and so has our risk.”
Lewis explained that risk has increased due to instability in international trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, and widespread drought.
“It’s time to update our Business Risk Management programs and make sure we’re ready for the future.”
The NPF Task Force will consult with producers, other agricultural stakeholders, and government officials and develop priorities for the NPF from its research.
Members of APAS’s NPF Task Force are:
Chair: Bill Prybylski – APAS Vice-President (RM of Garry #245)
Norm Hall – Former APAS President (RM of Emerald #227)
Scott Owens – Director of District 6 (RM of Eldon #471)
Brent Freedman – APAS Representative (RM of Willow Creek #458)
Trevor Green – APAS Representative (RM of Moosomin #121)
Devon Walker - APAS Representative (RM of Wilton #472)
“All the members of this task force have different agricultural backgrounds, are from different regions of the province and together will be able to provide a strong, united, and diverse voice for Saskatchewan producers,” Lewis said. “Their perspectives on what needs to be included in the NPF is essential for the sustainability and success of the province’s agricultural sector.”
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership agreement ends March 31, 2023, and will be replaced with the NPF. Once applications are submitted, the Government of Canada will have one year to determine the funding model of the NPF split between federal, provincial, and territorial governments for Canada’s farmers and ranchers.
APAS’s submission will highlight the need for Business Risk Management, AgriStability, research investment, trade and market development programs, and increasing agricultural exports to international markets.
“It’s important APAS adds its voice to the NPF because Saskatchewan has an important role to play in the export growth of the country,” Lewis said. “This proposal will outline what Saskatchewan producers see as successes in the current agreement but also ways to improve the new contract for all parties.”