By Erika Mathieu
Westwind Weekly News
The government of Alberta is reporting 2021’s AgriRecovery funding to be, “timely and successful” helping in mitigating the devastating fallout for thousands of livestock producers.
The funding was allocated to producers province-wide in response to an extremely trying growing season, resulting from severe drought conditions. The funding was administered through the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC).
The joint initiative was deployed and developed by both the provincial and federal governments. The funding included the Canada-Alberta Livestock Feed Assistance Initiative which provided financial support and cash flow to beekeepers and livestock producers in the province during the severe bouts of extremely hot and dry weather.
In a provincial release, federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau said, “Alberta producers have once again shown their strength and resiliency in overcoming the challenges of the past year. The Government of Canada is making sure to support them in the face of uncertainty so they remain well-positioned for success.”
Despite the predictions for another long, hot, and dry summer, Nate Horner, minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development said he is, “cautiously optimistic that 2022 will be a positive year for our ag sector,”
The statement revealed the first phase of the initiative provided $180 million in relief in response to over 14,000 applications, which concerned over two million animals in the province.
“The AgriRecovery framework is part of a suite of Business Risk Management tools under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.”
According to the May 4 press release, “the second phase of this initiative provided continued assistance to eligible Alberta producers hit hard by the 2021 drought. As of April 19, the program had paid out nearly $172 million on more than 11,300 applications.”
The first and second phases of payouts added more than $350 million in cash flow to producers as they were forced to address substantial costs associated with feeding their livestock during the challenging growing season.
The federal-provincial-territorial disaster relief framework provides relief for producers impacted by extreme weather situations or natural disasters and supports eligible applicants. The federal government covers 60 per cent of costs and the provinces or territories shell out the remaining 40 per cent. Other key programs delivered through the program are centred on growing trade and expanding markets, encouraging innovative and sustainable growth in agriculture, and supporting opportunities to diversify in an evolving sector.