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Canadian Federation of Agriculture calls on feds to provide financial support to farmers
OTTAWA -- Canadian farmers are calling for a financial seed from the Federal Government to help the agriculture sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture warns Canadians could see higher costs and less variety in grocery stores in the months ahead unless it receives financial support from the federal government.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday afternoon, federation president Mary Robinson said the Liberal Government needs to “prioritize” food production as part of its strategy to deal with novel coronavirus across the country.
“Farming families need immediate help and support to ensure our domestic food supply remains reliable and secure for Canadians coast to coast.”
Robinson says farmers are considering whether it’s worth it to plant a 2020 crop due to higher costs and a shortage of workers for farmers across Canada.
“Another fear is that if planting does go ahead, will harvesting and processing be possible without sufficient labour or will crops rot in the fields as we are seeing now happening in other countries,” said Robinson.
Increased costs include purchasing extra personal protective equipment for staff and keeping livestock for an extended period of time due to reductions in processing capacity.
“Canadian farmers are feeling increasingly stressed, with some farmers so worried about the mounting challenges, they are strongly considering stopping their farming operations to stave off financial disaster,” said the federation in a statement.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is calling on the federal government to establish an emergency fund or financial backstop so farmers in need can access funds to help them overcome mounting costs.
Earlier this week, the federal government announced farmers and food processors will receive federal funds to help foreign workers isolate when they arrive in Canada.