The New Brunswick government has officially co-signed its agreement with the federal government on the specifics of its funding through the new Growing Forward ag policy framework.
Growing Forward is Ottawa and the provinces’ replacement for the previous five-year federal/provincial Agricultural Policy Framework (APF, 2003-08). The new $1.3 billion agreement is intended to cover cost-shared ag-related programming, except for business risk management (BRM) programs, across the country.
New Brunswick’s new agreement lays out its budget for “non-BRM” programming, worth about $24.6 million, cost-shared 60-40 between the province and Ottawa.
“The programs offered through the Growing Forward initiative, provide some of the tools that our agricultural industry need in order to be competitive, innovative and viable for the long-term,” provincial Agriculture Minister Ronald Ouellette said Thursday.
“We believe the province’s resource industries, including agriculture, will remain a cornerstone of New Brunswick’s economy and contribute to our government’s plan for New Brunswick achieving self-sufficiency.”
According to the two governments’ joint release New Brunswick’s Growing Forward funding is to go toward non-BRM programs such as:
- the Enabling Agricultural Research and Innovation program, backing research and development programs for the agriculture, agri-food and agri-product sectors, pre-commercialization and technology development activities, and on-farm innovation and adoption of new technologies;
- Environmentally Responsible Agriculture, an initiative to help farmers improve the environmental performance of their operations through specific beneficial management practices and actions in a sustainable and economic fashion, with an added focus on energy conservation and energy audits;
- Business Development, a set of training, evaluation and planning programs to boost the knowledge and application of business management skills and practices in the New Brunswick agriculture and agri-food industry, and thus “enable businesses to be more profitable;” and
- Food Safety, Traceability and Biosecurity, a group of programs covering implementation of on-farm food safety programs, post-farm agri-food safety training and development, and development and implementation of food safety systems; the development and implementation of a National Agriculture and Food Traceability System (NAFTS), bringing the province’s farmers on board with “recognized traceability initiatives;” and assistance for farmers to set up “enhanced biosecurity measures.”
Further details on the last three groups of programs will be available “in the coming weeks,” the two governments said in their release.
New Brunswick’s agreement leaves Newfoundland and Labrador as the only province yet to finalize its Growing Forward funding.