Sustainable agriculture initiatives in Quebec are about to receive a big boost, thanks to the signing of a bilateral agreement under the new Canadian Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture between the federal government and the province. The agreement was announced on March 27 by Marie-Claude Bibeau, the minister of agriculture and agri-food in Canada, and André Lamontagne, the Quebec minister of agriculture, fisheries and food.
“Through the Canadian Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture, we are making a historic investment to support the growth and resiliency of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector,” said Bibeau. “Building on the leadership of our producers and processors in sustainability, we will continue to develop markets and support research and innovation so that our agricultural producers can make a good living from their work and contribute to food security here and abroad,” she continued.
The agreement includes a joint investment into the Quebec agri-food sector by the two levels of government, estimated at $955 million over the next five years. Through the new “retribution for agri-environmental practices” policy, the provincial government will receive specific funding to provide additional tools to allow Quebec to pursue its sustainable agriculture objectives, while developing a prosperous and resilient agri-food sector.
“Quebec farmers, like those in other provinces, have high expectations of the Canadian Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture,” said Martin Caron, the president of the Union des Producteurs Agricoles (UPA). “Higher budgets are a step in the right direction and set the table so that agriculture can meet the challenges of the 21st century. Societal expectations for ecological transition and highly competitive markets require continued dialogue on additional support, but today’s announcement is certainly a good start,” he added.
The partnership will help the province achieve its targets, objectives, and indicators as part of its strategic planning for the agri-food sector. It also sets the parameters for the pan-Canadian agriculture business risk management programs, including AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriInsurance, and AgriRecovery, so they are more timely, equitable, and easy to understand. (SR)