Budget Keeps Province's Agriculture Sector On Track
The 2018-19 Budget invests $378.6 million to help ensure a strong agriculture sector, including a record investment in agricultural research and continued strong support for business risk management programs, such as Crop Insurance.
The budget also includes increased funding for Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan, the organization that enforces Saskatchewan’s Animal Protection Act. The new, three-year funding agreement will provide the organization $800,000 a year for investigative services, an increase from $610,000.
“We appreciate the work of Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan in supporting a sound animal welfare system and this funding will help ensure they have the resources they need,” Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said.
The $31.8 million agriculture research budget includes support for programs that foster the adoption of new technologies and increased funding for Ag-West Bio, the Food Centre, and livestock and forage research through support for the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence. The funding is part of the $71.2 million that will be invested into strategic programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) this fiscal year. CAP program details were announced at the end of March, with the signing of the new federal-provincial framework.
“Our government is making important investments targeted to the continued sustainability and growth of the agriculture industry,” Stewart said. “Agriculture is a major contributor to the province’s economy and this budget will help producers increase crop production, value-added processing and agri-food exports.”
Approximately $258.2 million will go toward fully funding business risk management programs including AgriStability, AgriInvest, Western Livestock Price Insurance and Crop Insurance, which this year added fire insurance as a coverage feature for pasture land. The 2018-19 Budget also includes $3.0 million for irrigation infrastructure rehabilitation costs and irrigation asset transfer to irrigation districts.
Saskatchewan producers harvested a crop of about 35 million tonnes in 2017, the fifth consecutive year the provincial harvest has been more than 30 million tonnes. Saskatchewan’s 2017 agriculture exports were the fourth largest on record with total sales of $13.5 billion, an increase of more than 60 per cent since 2010.