Agriculture is a foundation of our economy. As our agricultural producers emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to continue to make strategic investments that increase our competitiveness in a global market, increase consumption of locally grown products, and help our producers become even more innovative.
Supporting our Farmers – Improving Business Risk Management
Our agricultural industry and our local food producers are the backbone of many of our rural communities. They are essential to our food security but can face many challenges ranging from market disruptions to extreme weather events due to climate change.
The industry has requested that the current suite of Business Risk Management programs be changed to offer stronger compensation for losses.
A Rankin government will support changes to the BRM AgriStability disaster program by removing the Reference Margin Limit and increasing the compensation rate from 70% to 80% of loss. These two measures would add $2.8 million in provincial support and leverage $4.2 million in additional federal support, resulting in $7 million more in support for Nova Scotia farmers.
A re-elected Rankin government will continue to fight for the support that Nova Scotian producers deserve as we continue to negotiate the next version of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Multilateral Framework Agreement.
Growing Our Wine Industry
In 2020 there were 25 licenced farm wineries in Nova Scotia and 58 grape growers utilizing over 1200 acres of vineyard for production. In 2019 more than 1 million litres of Nova Scotian wine were sold, and the wine industry supported more than 500 jobs.
The industry is growing in size, international acclaim, and importance to our economy. Our government recognizes that investments in emerging agricultural sectors will grow our economy, support producers, and generate new jobs.
A re-elected Liberal government will deliver on our commitment to invest $1.3 million dollars in year one of a Nova Scotia Quality Wine Strategy.
The new Nova Scotia Quality Wine Strategy will:
- Bring domestic and international attention to the quality of our product through a new provincial quality wine standard.
- Help producers to strengthen their vineyards through an innovative replanting support program.
- Support producers to navigate expanding export opportunities by introducing an export navigation program.
Increasing Sustainable Agriculture Growth
Food is the largest industry in Nova Scotia. Our local producers supply our province with quality, nutritious food, while exporting products around the globe.
Farmers and food producers want to innovate. They are constantly evolving, looking for ways to improve the quality, efficiency, and sustainability of the food that they produce. Our government will continue to make strategic investments that help the industry to keep innovating and doing what it does best.
That’s why Premier Rankin announced in March 2021 a $5 million investment over the next two years in the Agriculture Clean Technology Program to help farmers save money, reduce emissions, and adopt green technology.
The fund will promote sustainable and clean growth, improve energy efficiency, increase value-added agricultural production, extend growing seasons, and lower the cost of production, making life more affordable for our producers.
Increasing Exports in our Fisheries Sector
The Liberal Party recognizes the importance of our fish and seafood industry to our coastal communities, and the massive economic benefit it provides to our entire province. The industry supports over 18,000 direct jobs across our province, and benefits countless others. It was last valued at $2.3 billion and accounts for approximately 38 percent of our exports.
Nova Scotia continues to experience phenomenal growth in exports of products around the world. Nova Scotia is now Canada’s number one seafood exporter, with producers exporting premium products such as lobster, shrimp, snow crab, and so much more.
A re-elected Rankin government will continue to make smart and strategic investments to ensure our fishing industry has greater access to global markets.
We will continue to build the Nova Scotia Seafood Quality Program in order to promote the high quality standards in our seafood industry. This will enhance our reputation for premium quality seafood and further grow our exports, putting more money into the pockets of thousands of workers across this province.