GROWING FORWARD 2 AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS LAUNCHED IN MANITOBA

April 23, 2013

Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 22, 2013 - Today, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced the Growing Forward 2 program details for the agricultural sector in Manitoba. The announcement signals the beginning of the Canada-Manitoba Growing Forward 2 bilateral agreement.

"Our Government remains focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Manitoba's agricultural industry," said Ritz. "Today's Growing Forward 2 agreement provides flexible, innovative programming for Manitoba's hard-working producers to ensure they have the tools they need to remain competitive and expand into new markets."

Growing Forward 2 is a renewed commitment by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to ensure productivity and profitability for Canada's agricultural sector. With a focus on innovation, competitiveness, and market development, Growing Forward 2 programs will help the industry seize future opportunities and realize its full potential as a major driver of the Canadian economy. Programs are also tailored with the flexibility to meet diverse Manitoba regional requirements.

"These investments in Manitoba farm families and businesses will help create a foundation for continued prosperity and growth in a changing global market," said Kostyshyn. "Growing Forward 2 programs will also ensure farm families are protected from losses caused by the more frequent and severe flooding we are now experiencing in Manitoba."

Manitoba's Growing Forward 2 priorities focus on three areas: competitiveness and market development, innovation, and adaptability and industry capacity. The first cost-shared initiative to be launched is directed at Growing Assurance programs and includes beneficial management practices (BMPs) that support environmental farm plans.

"Keystone Agricultural Producers is pleased the Environmental Farm Plan program will continue, and we anticipate continued positive response from producers," said Doug Chorney, KAP president. "Manitoba farmers have great respect for our water and land resources, and through the assistance announced today we will be able to add to the 8.8 million acres that have already been assessed for best management practices."

The new five-year Growing Forward 2 agreement represents a Canada-Manitoba investment of $176 million towards strategic initiatives, a 50 per cent increase in cost-shared funding, as well as $1 billion for federal-only strategic initiatives. The federal government has announced details of its three federal programs: AgriInnovation, AgriMarketing and AgriCompetitiveness.

Under Growing Forward 2 governments will continue to offer ongoing funding for a complete and effective suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs to ensure farmers are protected against severe market volatility and natural disasters.

For more information on the national Growing Forward 2 initiatives, visit:
www.agr.gc.ca/GrowingForward2
.

Information on cost-shared Growing Forward 2 programs in Manitoba can be found at www.manitoba.ca/agriculture and click on the Growing Forward 2 icon.


Applications, terms and conditions will be available on line as programs are launched.

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