March 9, 2006: Last year’s bumper crop of major
reports on fixing Canadian agriculture are coming under close
scrutiny by the members and friends of the Christian Farmers
Federation of Ontario. CFFO’s 2006 seminar series will
ask if the solutions proposed by the four reports clash or
converge. Combined, there is a lot of advice in the four reports
but are they offering solutions that family farmers appreciate?
The seminar series will focus on two of the themes in the
- The solutions to farmers’ lack of clout in the marketplace;
- The solutions proposed for the farm gate financial crisis.
CFFO has posted a summary of the solutions proposed by each
of the four reports on its website: www.christianfarmers.org.
The four reports are:
- The Honourable Wayne Easter, Parliamentary Secretary to
the former Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in the
Liberal government produced “Empowering Canadian Farmers
in the Marketplace” last July.
- The National Farmers Union wrote “The Farm Crisis:
Its Causes and Solutions,” also last July.
- The Agriculture Institute of Canada commissioned a discussion
paper, “Big Farms, Small Farms: Strategies in Sustainable
Agriculture to fit All Sizes,” last September.
- The Canadian Federation of Agriculture wrote “Agricultural
Policy Framework II: A Canadian Farm Bill” last November.
The variety of proposed solutions is quite dramatic. Proposals
for fixing the farm gate financial crisis include the following:
- Enhance returns from the marketplace by organizing international
meetings of farm ministers and consulting farmers.
- Create distinct agricultural programs for small and large
- Give smaller farmers preferential access to processors.
- Pay short-term incentives to farmers who idle land to
better match supply to demand for grain
- Invest in alternative uses for agricultural land, like
biomass for fuel production.
- Give farmers incentives for marketing livestock at lower
- Make safety nets and risk management programs affordable,
predictable, responsiveness and equitable across the country.
- Guarantee that at least 95% of farmers recover their full
costs of production.
- Put a consumer levy on food to fund the adoption of sustainable
- Target farm aid programs to small- and medium-scale producers.
- Identify costs, such as inspection fees, that governments
can pay for entirely.
- When farmers are required to take steps, like traceability,
for the benefit of the public good, the public should pay.
- Implement a payment system for environmental goods and
- Expand agricultural production into processing and distribution.
- Encourage young farmers with incentives.
Which of these solutions will contribute the most to solving
the farm gate financial crisis? That will be the underlying
question of the CFFO seminar series.
Six sessions, starting March 8, are planned. Visit the CFFO
website for details or call for the schedule: 519-837-1620.
Join us as we explore the strengths and weaknesses of these
solutions and identify the best.
For a complete list of events and summaries of the reports,
please visit: www.christianfarmers.org
To register send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 519-837-1620. There is a registration fee to cover
the cost of lunch and refreshments.