Ontario expanding eligibility for Agricultural Insurance Program
By Fruit & Vegetable
By Fruit & Vegetable
May 27 2015 – The Ontario government has passed the Agriculture Insurance Act, 2014 which will allow more types of agricultural products to be covered by the province’s production insurance program.
Production insurance is part of a suite of business risk management programs designed to help farmers manage losses due to events beyond their control, such as weather, pests and disease. While production insurance is currently available for almost 90 commercially grown crops in Ontario, including grains, oilseeds and certain fruits and vegetables, the new legislation will expand eligibility for the production insurance program for more agricultural products.
The new legislation will help agri-food producers better manage risk, as well as encourage greater innovation, profitability and job creation in the agri-food sector. It also aims to help agri-food producers achieve the financial security they need to support business expansion and meet the Premier’s challenge to the sector to double its growth rate and create 120,000 jobs by 2020.
The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
“Our government is pleased to give a broader range of producers the opportunity to access production insurance,” says Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This legislation will enable producers to manage the multitude of risks they face every day. Ontario is a leader in risk management because tools like production insurance give our farmers the protection they need to safeguard their investments, grow their farms and help meet the Premier’s Agri-Food Growth Challenge.”
The province says the Act will also give it more flexibility to work with industry partners to develop potential future production insurance plans for more sectors like apiculture and pork.
Amy Cronin, Chair of Ontario Pork says that pork producers strongly support Bill 40. “Broadening the scope of production insurance beyond crops is an important piece in supporting a positive business environment for the livestock industry in Ontario. Production insurance can be instrumental in providing stability against risks that are beyond the control of pork farmers.”
In 2013, there were more than 14,000 producers insured under Ontario’s Production Insurance program, representing more than five million acres in crop land.
By allowing more types of products to be covered by production insurance, the province says it is fulfilling a commitment made to farmers under the Growing Forward 2 agreement in 2013.