**** COVID-19/AGRICULTURE Media Release
Support for Agriculture Sector Dealing with COVID-19
Nova Scotia’s agricultural businesses continue to produce food and generate economic activity, even when faced with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is responding to the sector’s immediate needs to help keep it strong.
“This support package will help farmers manage risks that are currently threatening the viability of their farm operations and our food supply system,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. “We need a strong agriculture sector and by taking these steps, we are helping our farm families improve their competitiveness, productivity and profitability at a time of significant change.”
In partnership with the federal government, the assistance includes a new COVID-19 Response and Mitigation Program, funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, that helps mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will help food producers with the costs of meeting extra health requirements due to COVID-19, help producers get their crops to market, fund projects aimed at maintaining competitiveness, productivity, profitability, and support abattoir efficiency and development.
Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada have agreed to increase the 2020 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 to 75 per cent for producers. The program supports producers experiencing a large decline in farm income.
They are also providing a 10 per cent discount on producers’ share of AgriInsurance premiums, saving farmers from making these payments during difficult times. AgriInsurance is an insurance against natural hazards to reduce the financial impact of production losses.
Agricultural businesses can apply for the assistance now.
“Working with the province, our government is there every step of the way to help Nova Scotia farmers with the challenges they face to bring their high-quality products to market. This investment made through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership will help Nova Scotia’s food sector remain resilient and strong.”
– Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“Farmers have faced a lot of challenges over the last three seasons. We continue to advocate on behalf of our members and are pleased to see the government releasing support programs for Nova Scotia agriculture. We look forward to our future discussions so that we can ensure the continued support for our food system.”
– Victor Oulton, president, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture
— the Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $37 million investment in strategic initiatives for Nova Scotian agriculture by the federal and provincial governments
— all government loans, including those provided by the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board, have deferred payments until June 30.
For more information on support for individuals, families and businesses visit http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#support
COVID-19 Response and Mitigation Program: http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/agriculture-response-program/
Canadian Agricultural Partnership Cost-Shared Programs in Nova Scotia: http://novascotia.ca/canadian-agricultural-partnership/
Canadian Agricultural Partnership: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/?id=1461767369849
Business Risk Management Programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-our-department/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/canadian-agricultural-partnership-business-risk-management-programs-effective-april-2018/?id=1500475317828