5033-52 Street
Lacombe, AB  T4L 2A6
t: 403-789-9151 f: 403-789-9152


24 / August / 2021



AFA puts forth key priorities for next federal government


The Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) has put forth a list of key priorities that will bring agriculture to the forefront for Canada’s next federal government.


“To say that the past year has been filled with challenges for producers across the country is an understatement,” said Lynn Jacobson, President of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture. “From the severe drought conditions through the prairies to the many issues a global pandemic has posed, producers continue to show their resilience.”
Agriculture has been touted as a key driver of economic recovery but that requires a focus on policies and industry investment that allow it to flourish.  As such, AFA is calling on all federal political parties to focus on the following priority areas:
Business Risk Management Programs - In recent years, the federal-provincial Business Risk Management program AgriStability has come under a good deal of scrutiny. Challenging farming and business conditions in 2019, followed by pandemic-related challenges in 2020, along with drought conditions through the prairies in 2021, have highlighted the programs’ limitations. Negotiations on the Next Policy Framework (NPF), which will take effect in 2023, presents an opportunity to improve these programs with additional support.

  • Mandate that insurance must be made available upon official request by the commodity/crops
  • Restore the 80% level of support in AgriStability or allow provinces to individually select the level of support they will fund.

Rural Economic Capacity Building – Agriculture is a big part of Canada’s economy with primary agriculture contributing $62 billion in total sales to the Canadian economy, and Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system accounted for 2.3 billion, or 1 in 8, jobs in the country.  Yet the agriculture sector faces major labour challenges, with 16,500 jobs not filled in 2017 alone. Producers want and need solutions to address rural employment access, along with a focus on rural economic capacity building - investment in rural infrastructure, transportation and supply chain resiliency.  With respect to farm data, producers need 50 cm on-farm accuracy for GPS signals and 50/10 Mbps broadband connectivity.  Additionally, the intellectual property legislation should protect the ability of farmers to repair their own equipment. 
A Changing Climate & Environmental Stewardship - Weather and a changing climate is impacting farming operations. It goes without saying that there are few businesses as concerned about the weather and the climate as farmers.    Environmental policies must consider that Canadian producers must remain competitive against their global competitors.  While producers understand that their stewardship of the land protects existing carbon sinks, new policies can greatly assist farmers in reducing the practice of broadcasting of fertilizers, protecting soil sinks from degradation and conversion, and technology adoption that reduces fertilizer waste. Farms and ranches are also looking for effective and efficient regulated and volunteer carbon markets.
In addition to these priority areas, AFA also recommends:
  • Protection and assistance for all commodities that are used as inducements by governments in country-to-country trade agreements.
  • Development of standardized grain delivery contracts that are fair to both producers and purchasers.
  • Establishment of a permanent body to adjudicate compensation and damages for federally regulated pipelines and other energy projects.
Alberta Federation of Agriculture is Alberta's largest producer funded general farm organization. Whenever decisions are being made that affect the province's agricultural industry, we're there, providing an effective voice for Alberta's farmers. For more information on AFA, please visit our website at: www.afaonline.ca
Media Contact:
Lynn Jacobson
Alberta Federation of Agriculture
Ph: 403-894-5208
Shannon Scofield
Executive Director
Alberta Federation of Agriculture
Ph: 403-789-9151
Email: shannon.scofield@afaonline.ca