WHITEHORSE—Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program details for the agriculture sector in Yukon were announced today by Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Yukon Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Brad Cathers. The announcement follows the signing of the Canada-Yukon Growing Forward 2 bilateral agreement.
“Our government is focused on the priorities of Canadians—jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. This agreement reflects the flexibility of GF2 to deliver effective programs that focus on innovation and help grow agriculture in Yukon,” Ritz said. “We will continue to work with governments and industry to target investments and create opportunity in Canadian agriculture from the local level right up to the international stage.”
Growing Forward 2 is a renewed commitment by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to ensure productivity and profitability for Canada’s agricultural sector. With a focus on innovation, competitiveness, and market development, Growing Forward 2 programs are designed to help the industry position itself to respond to future opportunities and to realize its full potential as a significant contributor to the Canadian economy. Growing Forward 2 continues to support enhancing the agricultural industry in Yukon. Programs are tailored to encourage the growth of Yukon’s agricultural industry and to meet its diverse regional requirements.
“Growing Forward helped develop Yukon’s agriculture sector by providing funding for modernized equipment, increasing knowledge of safe practices for handling and processing foods, increasing awareness of agri-environmental impacts and implementing best management practices on Yukon farms,” Cathers said. “Growing Forward 2 will build on these successes and continue to strengthen and improve the growing agriculture community and industry in Yukon.”
The new five-year Growing Forward 2 agreement includes $2 billion for federal-provincial-territorial strategic initiatives, a 50 per cent increase in cost-shared funding, as well as $1 billion for federal-only strategic initiatives. The federal government has recently announced details of its three federal programs: AgriInnovation, AgriMarketing and AgriCompetitiveness.
Under Growing Forward 2, governments will offer programming to support key infrastructure development to support the continued diversification of farm products destined for farmers’ markets, restaurants and store shelves.
For more information on Growing Forward 2, visit www.agr.gc.ca/GrowingForward2. A complete list of programs in Yukon is available at www.emr.gov.yk.ca/agriculture/funding_programs.html.
See backgrounder attached.
Communications, Energy, Mines and Resources
Government of Yukon
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Government of Yukon
| Jeff English
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
Growing Forward 2 Bilateral Agreement
The Canada-Yukon agreement will be in effect April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018.
Growing Forward 2 places emphasis on proactive, strategic investments in innovation, market-based profitability, adaptability and long-term sustainable growth.
The bilateral agreement sets out the responsibilities of both Canada and Yukon to implement the Growing Forward 2 Multilateral Framework Agreement that was agreed to in principle at the Whitehorse Agriculture Ministers’ Conference in September 2012.
The agreement provides $1.48 million annually for the next five years targeted at the agriculture industry for a wide variety of projects and activities.
The Agriculture Industry Advisory Committee (AIAC), the Yukon agriculture industry and associations and other community groups were consulted and provided input during preparation of the programs to be offered under Growing Forward 2.
Yukon has participated in the Agriculture Policy Framework agreement, the precursor to Growing Forward, since 2003, and Growing Forward since 2008. These agreements enabled Yukon to successfully implement local programs to suit the development needs of the local agriculture industry.
Key outcomes of Growing Forward include:
- Yukon grown meats in local restaurants through the operation of the mobile abattoir and provision of meat inspection services to allow retail market access for livestock producers;
- Improved environmental performance on farms through the adoption of beneficial management practices that increase safety of fuel storage and improve access to water sources;
- Increased amounts of Yukon grown produce in markets and on store shelves through program funding assistance for specialized equipment, cooperative equipment and storage facilities that have reduced input costs and diversified farm operations.
- Funding for specialized equipment resulting in cooperative equipment available at a reasonable cost to increase production;
- Decreasing the financial burden on farmers for business development; and Supporting local farmers’ markets to assist with direct sales.