Manitoba farmers, agricultural processors and stakeholders are encouraged to help shape the new Growing Forward (GF) policy agreement by providing feedback on the value of current programs and making recommendations for future programs, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn said today.
“The Canadian agriculture industry is seeing record growth and we want to keep building on that momentum,” Kostyshyn said. “We’re asking industry stakeholders to provide input about the best ways to build on our past achievements and what’s needed to ensure the Manitoba-based agriculture industry becomes even more competitive.”
The minister noted that for this consultation process, the province is using a web-based format rather than public meetings so that stakeholders from across the province have an opportunity to provide their views and build on the in-person industry consultations that have occurred over the past two years.
The goal of the new GF policy framework is to build on successes, respond to changing industry needs and take advantage of future opportunities, the minister said, adding participation by stakeholders is essential. He also said agriculture ministers from across Canada believe Growing Forward 2 should focus on four main industry priorities:
- competitiveness in domestic and international markets;
- adaptability and sustainability;
- innovation; and
- institutional, physical and human resource infrastructure.
Information from the consultation will be used to help create fiscally responsible ways to ensure farm income programs get the desired results and help producers respond more effectively to changing markets and consumer demands, Kostyshyn said, adding previous advances and innovations are the building blocks for programs in the future.
“The more input Manitoba industry stakeholders provide through the consultations, the more influence they will have on the future content and direction of the next generation of Growing Forward programs,” he added.
Growing Forward is an agreement among federal, provincial and territorial governments. It brings together cost-shared initiatives that help the agriculture industry become more profitable, competitive and innovative. In this province, the client-centered programs are delivered through Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Growing Opportunities (GO) offices.
To take part in the online consultation, go to www.manitoba.ca/agriculture/growingforward and click on the Growing Forward 2 button under Quick Links. Click on the last sentence at the bottom to access the consultation form.
The direct link to the consultation form is: www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/growingforward/about/gf2_questions.html.