Elevated funding for enterprise danger administration applications is the primary driver of a $23.1 million improve for agriculture in Saskatchewan’s proposed budget.
Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer tabled the province’s 2021-22 budget on Tuesday, that includes a deficit of $2.6 billion and a plan to return to balanced books in 2026-27.
The budget consists of $386.9 million for the Ministry of Agriculture — roughly a six per cent improve from 2020-21.
The province is planning to spend a further $20.6 million on the suite of enterprise danger administration applications delivered beneath the federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP).
That suite consists of crop insurance coverage, for which the province has budgeted $150.1 million, an $11.1 million improve from final yr. The province has additionally added $2 million extra for its Wildlife Harm Compensation Program to maintain up with increased commodity costs. AgriStability was not talked about in budget paperwork, however the settlement reached between federal and provincial governments final month concerning the reference margin restrict is anticipated to lead to elevated payouts to producers who expertise important margin declines.
$32.9 million has been put aside within the budget for agriculture analysis, matching final yr’s allocation.
The province has additionally dedicated a further $2.5 million for irrigation projections to assist advance tasks exterior of the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Growth Venture.
“The importance of a secure, reliable and safe food supply chain is essential for our citizens and for our economy,” says Agriculture Minister David Marit, in an announcement. “The 2021-22 agriculture budget will once again fully fund business risk management programs, provide a record level of per-acre coverage under the Crop Insurance Program, continue last year’s record investment in agriculture research, and make important investments in irrigation expansion.”
Outdoors of the agriculture budget, the province additionally introduced plans to ascertain 4 new worldwide commerce and funding places of work, with places to be introduced within the coming months. Funding for these worldwide commerce places of work can also be being doubled to $9.3 million.
Farm teams welcomed the province’s monetary plan for 2021-22.
The Agriculture Producers Affiliation of Saskatchewan (APAS) mentioned it’s “pleased the Government of Saskatchewan is investing in agricultural programming and improving rural telecommunications,” noting $85.8 million has been devoted to SaskTel’s “Fibre to the x” program.
“COVID has really been a shock to the economy, and agriculture is well poised to lead the recovery, and we will,” mentioned APAS president and Regina-area farmer Todd Lewis, in a post-budget assertion.
The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Affiliation additionally mentioned it’s supportive of the budget.
“Today’s provincial budget provides the appropriate levels of support for the agriculture industry, especially during a pandemic. No new tax increases and no decrease in the budget ensures ongoing agriculture programs,” famous Wheat Growers chair and Glaslyn, Sask.-area farmer Daryl Fransoo, in a information launch.
Saskatchewan’s agriculture and meals exports reached a brand new excessive of $16.9 billion in 2020 — greater than 55 per cent of complete provincial exports final yr.
“I think if we get enough rainfall this spring, there’s no reason not to expect another record year of exports,” Lewis mentioned. “We’ve shipped record amounts of grain this year in the second-largest crop in history, and if the weather cooperates, we’ll certainly see that continue.”