Ontario Government Supports Grain And Oilseed Farmers

    Risk Management Program To Help Farmers Compete And Succeed

    PICTON, ON, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - The provincial government is supporting
Ontario's 25,000 grain and oilseed producers with a new risk management
program that will provide the stability they need to compete and succeed in
the global economy, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.
    "Farmers are the backbone of our rural communities and they help put food
on tables across this province," said Premier McGuinty. "We're standing behind
our farmers so they can succeed in international markets and continue to
strengthen our economy and build opportunity in rural Ontario."
    The Risk Management Program is a three-year pilot program designed to
help farmers offset losses caused by low grain and oilseed commodity prices.
The program will begin with the 2007 crop year. Farmers must enroll for the
full three years but their premiums will be waived in the first year.
    The province will fund the three-year program at the traditional 40 per
cent share, while continuing to encourage the federal government to provide
its 60 per cent share.
    "We recognize that, from time to time, these producers encounter
extraordinary pressures on their incomes," said Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "That's why we are keeping our promise to
provide effective risk management programming that will help them compete in
the world marketplace."
    The Risk Management Program was developed in consultation with the
Ontario Federation of Agriculture and representatives of the grain and oilseed
    "We are very pleased with the announcement today of the Risk Management
Program for Ontario grain and oilseed producers," said Leo Guilbeault, Chair
of the Grain and Oilseed Safety Net Committee. "We would like to thank the
McGuinty government for committing to their share of RMP and their support for
Ontario's Grain and Oilseed industry. This is one more step towards helping to
ensure the long term viability of Ontario agriculture."
    "The Risk Management Program provides another tool for Ontario grain and
oilseed farmers to help meet the challenges of a volatile international
commodity market," said Geri Kamenz, President of the Ontario Federation of
Agriculture. "We will be calling on the federal government to recognize this
important program and to contribute to its success. This brings Ontario
producers closer to the same type of companion programs that have stabilized
farm incomes for our colleagues in Quebec."
    Grain and oilseed production in Ontario is valued at about $1.7 billion,
and is a key input into the livestock industry, the food processing industry
and ethanol production.

    The Risk Management Program is just one more example of how, working
together, Ontarians have achieved results in rural Ontario. Other examples

    -  Delivering more than $1 billion in farm income support over the past
       four years
    -  Providing $55 million to Ontario farmers through the new Ontario Cost
       Recognition Top-Up Program, which provides a 40 per cent matching
       provincial contribution to the $400 million federal cost of production
    -  Investing $12.5 million in a Pick Ontario Freshness strategy
    -  Creating the five-year, $2.5-million Premier's Awards for Agri-Food
       Innovation Excellence - 55 awards totaling $425,000 were presented
       this year across the province, and
    -  Providing $6 million to the Ontario BioAuto Council, a multi-industry
       initiative to position the province as a global leader in
       manufacturing auto parts and other materials from agricultural and
       forestry feedstocks.

    "Ontario farmers are among the most creative and innovative in the world,
and together we're building a world-class agri-food sector in this province,"
said Premier McGuinty. "We're going to keep working together to help our
farmers succeed so we can strengthen our economy and build prosperity for

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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