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Skills, Safety, Environment: Canadian Funds

by 5m Editor
16 July 2009, at 11:12am

MANITOBA, CANADA - The Governments of Canada and Manitoba are partnering to deliver more than $50 million to enhance agri-business skills, expand food safety measures and enhance environmental action.

Gerry Ritz, Federal Agriculture Minister and Rosann Wowchuk, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, made the announcement at the Macrose Dairy farm.

"Our governments are working together to help farmers tap new opportunities so that they can make their living from the marketplace," said Minister Ritz. "These programmes put farmers first by helping our agricultural industry become more competitive here at home and around the world."

"These program suites provide valuable tools for today's food producers, processors and agri-business sectors," said Minister Wowchuk. "Maintaining a profitable and sustainable agriculture industry supports the economic and community development that benefits all Manitobans."

The Business Skills Suite includes programmes directed at building, improving and maintaining business management practices for farmers and agri-product processors. Topics in this suite include financial management, value-added business practices, marketing and succession planning. Leadership development through 4-H programmes is also part of this suite.

The Food Safety Suite provides programmes and resources designed to help producers and food processors establish and implement food safety and traceability practices on-farm and post-farm to proactively manage risks. These programmes encourage the development of biosecurity measures on farms to prevent the introduction or control the spread of disease. Traceability systems help verify identification and tracking of food products and help speed the response to food-related health issues and increase assurances to consumers of food safety.

The Environment Suite includes programmes that will help farmers establish and implement environmental farm plans. Implementing environmentally friendly farm practices improves and extends the sustainability of farm operations and improves farm production efficiency while contributing to environmental protection and conservation.

Nationally, the federal and provincial governments are investing $1.3 billion over five years to Growing Forward programmes. The three programmes announced today are part of this agreement to promote and assist the agriculture sector in Manitoba.