March 11, 2019 – Vernon, British Columbia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
British Columbia's agriculture sector contributes $3.2 billion to Canada's economy,
with more than $2.6 billion in agri-food exports to 147 markets. The governments
of Canada and British Columbia remain committed to the continued growth and success
of B.C.'s agriculture sector by ensuring producers have the tools they need to manage
significant risks that threaten the viability of their farms.
2018 was an extremely challenging year for many B.C. producers who faced financial
pressures as a result of significant production and market losses. The governments
of Canada and British Columbia are working together to ensure producers make full
use of support available through existing programs.
Today, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and British Columbia's
Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham announced they have triggered the late participation
mechanism under the AgriStability program for the 2018 program year to help farmers
access needed support to deal with income losses. This new feature, introduced under
the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, means hundreds of additional farmers and
ranchers from B.C. will be eligible to join and benefit from the program. This feature
can be triggered by governments in situations where there is a significant income
decline in the farm sector and a gap in program participation.
This is in addition to assistance previously announced by governments in October
2018 under the AgriRecovery disaster framework that provided up to $5 million to
help the province's agriculture sector recover from the agricultural losses caused
by the 2018 wildfires. These fires consumed 1,300,000 hectares of land, surpassing
the record damage caused in 2017.
Today's announcement is part of Minister Bibeau's first agricultural tour. Minister
Bibeau is meeting with farmers, processors and industry leaders, as well as participating
in local agricultural events, to highlight strategic federal agricultural investments
and programs and how they will help to build an even stronger and more innovative
sector for Canada.
The tour begins on March 11 in Vernon, British Columbia and ends on March 13 in
Winnipeg, Manitoba with stops in Kelowna, B.C. and Calgary, Alberta.
"Our Government recognizes that many B.C. farmers and ranchers are facing financial
hardship caused by extreme weather events and poor market prices. The AgriStability
late participation feature will help more farmers access the support they need to
cope with income shortfalls. We encourage BC farmers to take full advantage of all
available Business Risk Management programs, including AgriInvest and AgriInsurance."
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"BC ranchers and farmers work hard to support our province's food supply and economy,
and when they experience extreme hardship such as the last two years, they need
our help. Adjusting the AgriStability program to help more B.C. producers whose
income declined in 2018, offers support to those farmers, the communities they are
part of, and agriculture in BC." Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, British Columbia
- In 2018, B.C.'s agricultural sector was impacted by several major production and
market losses as a result of unprecedented spring flooding, forest fires which caused
substantial damage to farms and farmland, and a dramatic decline in market prices
- In August 2017, governments announced the Canada-British Columbia Wildfires Recovery
Initiative, an up to $20 million initiative to assist agricultural producers with
the extraordinary costs associated with resuming their operations following the
- Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, producers have access to a robust suite
of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs to help manage significant risks that
threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage. These
programs include AgriInsurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest and AgriRecovery.
- More information on late participation for 2018 AgriStability will be mailed to
B.C. farmers and ranchers in the coming weeks. Information on AgriStability can
be found on the program website or by calling the British Columbia program administration
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal,
provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food
sector. The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness
of the sector through research, science and innovation.