WHITEHORSE – The governments of Canada and Yukon have signed off on an almost $5 million investment to give Yukon farmers stable, bankable programs and to make key investments in innovation and marketing. The funding and programming is part of the new bilateral Growing Forward initiative, a $1.3 billion commitment over five years to help position Canadian farmers for success by focusing on achieving real results, reflecting cross-sector input and delivering programs that are simple, more effective and tailored to local needs.
“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 signing of this agreement will kick-start the rollout of these essential programs in Yukon.”
Growing Forward programs are tailored with the flexibility to meet Yukon’s diverse regional requirements. The governments of Canada and Yukon have worked with farmers every step of the way to develop the Growing Forward framework.
“Partnering with the federal government in the Growing Forward agreement allows Yukon to invest in programs and infrastructure that support growth of our agriculture industry,” said Yukon Minister of Energy Mines and Resources Brad Cathers. “The flexibility of the agreement allows us to target the needs and priorities of Yukon farmers, and work with them to increase the production of Yukon-grown food.”
There are approximately 150 farms in Yukon representing a total capital value of more than $66 million. Yukon producers are providing Yukoners with an increasing abundance of fresh vegetables, meats, flowering plants and forage through local markets, stores and garden centres.
For a complete list of Growing Forward programs in Yukon, visit www.agriculture.gov.yk.ca or www.agr.gc.ca/GrowingForward.
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Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
613-759-7972 or 1-866-345-7972
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
Communications, Energy Mines & Resources
Highlights of the Canada-Yukon Bilateral and Contribution Agreements
The governments of Canada and Yukon have concluded negotiations and have signed bilateral and contribution agreements. The agreements set out the allocation of federal and provincial funds for non-Business Risk Management (BRM) Growing Forward programs to be offered by Yukon.
The non-BRM programs are designed to complement existing BRM programming with a greater focus on supporting innovation, commercialization and profitability for the sector. Non-BRM programs being launched in Yukon include:
A Competitive & Innovative Sector
• Northern Agriculture Innovation: To bridge knowledge and build capacity in circumpolar agriculture through the exchange of agri-based information, and development of new and continuation of existing Yukon agriculture research and demonstration projects. Including, but not limited to, research development and implementation, and travel to circumpolar countries to share knowledge of agricultural experiences in the North. (Total investment: $477,000)
• Human Resource Development: To provide learning opportunities and resources for farmers including training, education and workshops on farm and in institutional settings. Including, but not limited to, studying to improve agricultural skills; building capacity to develop agriculture within an organization; mentoring; internships; and developing agri-based curriculum and communications materials for schools. (Total investment: $487,000)
• Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities: To strengthen and support the diversification of Yukon agriculture through the investigation and development of new markets, products and communications tools; farm diversification; and business plans. To assist in industry development through investment in infrastructure, equipment and land. Including, but not limited to, market development activities and strategies; support for marketing organizations, such as community markets; developing promotional and communication materials; development of a farmers market facility or a cooperative multi-use facility where there are no viable alternatives; and the investment in lands as required to support agriculture infrastructure. (Total investment: $1.3 million)
A Sector that Contributes to Society’s Priorities and is Proactive in Managing Risk
• Food Safety from Field to Fork: To provide support to develop and implement initiatives that will meet market requirements with respect to food safety, traceability and biosecurity. Activities include, but are not limited to, education and awareness activities to minimize food safety risks on farm and in food processing facilities; implementation of good agricultural practices for on farm food safety and/or National On-Farm Food Safety Systems; activities to facilitate the adoption of Good Manufacturing Practices and international standards such as HACCP or ISO 22000 in non-federally registered food processing plants; food safety program management such as managing the operation of abattoirs; implementation of national traceability systems within Yukon; investment in special equipment required for food traceability initiatives or to implement food safety standards on farm or in food processing facilities; capital expenditures approved in advance to renovate or construct facilities to improve food safe processing or meet food safety standards; technical advisors to provide education, analysis and advice to industry with respect to emerging animal and plant risks focusing on prevention or mitigation of identified risks; participation on local or national committees established to address biosecurity concerns; and travel to meetings, workshops or conferences related to animal and plant health risks. (Total investment: $906,000)
• Environmental and Food Safe Farm Plan: To support the development and implementation of food safe and environmentally sound beneficial management practices on farm through an Environmental and Food Safe Farm Plan completed voluntarily by producers. Completed plans may be required to access additional funding for beneficial management practices, including, but not limited to, storage of petroleum products; water well drilling and protecting; improving power and irrigation efficiency; potable water development; water storage; and fencing for crop protection and pasture management. (Total investment: $260,000)
• Agriculture in the Environment: To strengthen stewardship on agricultural lands and within the surrounding landscape through the support for studies assessing new farm land, collecting soil, vegetation and water data, and incorporating this data into long term baseline indicators. Including, but not limited to, reclamation of agriculture and grazing lands; development and management of grazing management plans; environmental stewardship on farm; soil mapping and assessing arability; monitoring and deterring invasive species (plants and animals, including wildlife); tools to prevent damage to crops and infrastructure; improved utilization of existing agricultural lands; and assessing water quality and quantity for irrigation and farm use. (Total investment: $1 million)