Winnipeg, Manitoba — Earlier today, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced a series of enhancements to the Advance Payments Program (APP) that support farmers facing cash flow challenges in Canada’s grains and oilseeds sector. These changes include increasing the maximum allowable limit available under the APP from $400,000 to $1,000,000, and expanding the program’s interest-free component for canola from $100,000 to $500,000 until market conditions stabilize. The interest-free component will remain at $100,000 for all other commodities included under the APP.
“The current market situation is creating great uncertainty for farmers,” says Bernie McClean, President of Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). “With cash flow being farmers’ most immediate concern, we welcome enhancements that will help build financial predictability for at least the short to medium-term.”
“The Canola Working Group established by Minister Bibeau has focused on a number of short, medium and long-term tools that could help farmers and the wider industry manage through the current market access issues with China,” says Rick White, CEO at CCGA. “With planting just getting started and higher than normal stocks of last year’s canola crop remaining in farmers’ bins, we’re pleased to see actions being taken on the recommendations of the working group.”
With the APP program improvements just announced, CCGA is working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada program staff to incorporate the changes into the cash advance program. “We’re already working on the necessary changes to our systems so that farmers can access these benefits quickly,” says White. White expects CCGA will be in a position to process applications at the new limits in the near future. CCGA began issuing advances under the 2019-20 APP on April 1, 2019.
Farmers are encouraged to go to www.ccga.ca for updates or call 1-866-745-2256 to speak with a CCGA Contact Centre representative.
In addition to the changes announced about the APP, Minister Bibeau also announced a 2-month extension to the application deadline for AgriStability.
“We sincerely thank Minister Bibeau for taking action to support Canada’s farmers during this time of uncertainty,” says McClean. “We look forward to the continued efforts of the Canola Working Group and future actions to support farmers and Canada’s canola industry.”
CCGA represents canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability and is an official administrator of the Government of Canada’s Advance Payments Program.
Kelly Green, Director of Communications