Government of Canada Announces Supports for Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector
In a release from MP Neil Ellis, the series of measures was announced by the Prime Minister today, to support farmers and agri-food businesses in Canada facing financial hardship due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal government has allocated provision of additional credit, and longer terms of repayment for existing credit, which will be made available to agricultural and agri-food producers to insulate their businesses from the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, including:
• $5 billion in lending capacity through Farm Credit Canada made available to Canadian farmers, agribusinesses, and food processors who require support with cashflow issues.
• A designated Stay of Default for all eligible farmers with an outstanding Advance Payments Program (APP) loans due on or before April 30, 2020. This measure represents a total of $173 million dollars in deferred loans, to assist farmers’ during these critical months.
• The option for eligible farmers to apply for an additional $100,000 dollars in interest-free loans for 2020-2021, as long as their total APP advances remain under the $1 million dollar cap.
“Like many Canadians, I am truly grateful for our farmers and food business owners and employees, who continue working hard so we all have quality food on our grocery store shelves and kitchen tables. Their continued work is essential to our plan to manage COVID-19. The measures announced today will provide farmers and food producers across the country with important financial flexibility they will need during these challenging times.”
– The Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“No matter the situation we’re facing, at the end of the day we all still need to eat. Our farmers and everyone else in our agri-food sector are working incredibly hard to provide for our most essential needs. The federal government’s announced supports will help those who produce, prepare, and provide our food for the months to come.”
• Grains, oilseeds, and pulse producers who participated in the 2018 Stay of Default announced this summer, are encouraged to contact their administrator for more details. Cattle, bison, flower, and potted plant producers should also contact their APP administrator to enquire about their eligibility for the Stay of Default.
• The Advance Payments Program is a financial loan guarantee program that provides producers easy access to credit through cash advances. For the 2019 program year, there are over 21,000 producers participating and over $3 billion in advances.
• Administrators participating in the Stay of Default are the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, Alberta Wheat Commission, BC Breeder and Feeder Association, Canadian Canola Growers Association, Manitoba Corn Growers Association Inc., Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Inc., Western Cash Advance Program Inc., PEI Federation of Agriculture, and the Agricultural Credit Corporation.
• Farm Credit Canada is our country’s leading agriculture and food lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $38 billion. The Crown corporation provides flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information, and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and food industries.
• Farmers will continue to have support under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The comprehensive suite of business risk management programs are designed to help manage significant financial impacts and risks beyond farmers’ control.
• The new deadlines for outstanding Advance Payments Program loans are as follows: o September 30, 2020: 2018 cash advances for grains, oilseeds, and pulses.
• Advance Payments Program: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/agricultural-programs-and-services/advance-payments-program/?id=1462198969862.
• Farm Credit Canada: https://www.fcc-fac.ca/en/covid-19.html.
• Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.
• Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html.
For the latest information on COVID-19 prevention strategies and to review daily updates from the federal government, MP Ellis encourages everyone to visit: Canada.ca/coronavirus.