The Ontario government is expanding the Risk Management Program, which benefits the province’s farmers, a year earlier than planned by $50 million for a total of $150 million annually. This funding supports farmers with unforeseen challenges such as fluctuating market prices, extreme weather events like flooding or drought, and disease.
“Our government stands shoulder to shoulder with our farmers during these unprecedented times. As we chart a path to recovery, we will be there for our farmers and their workers to help them continue to put food on our tables,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a statement. “We committed to expanding this program in Year 3 of our mandate, but we are delivering on that commitment a year earlier than promised to provide more stability, income security and peace of mind for farmers, which is long overdue. I’m proud to say promise made, promise kept.”
Approximately 80 per cent of eligible commercial production in the cattle, hog, sheep, veal, grains, and oilseeds, and edible horticulture sectors in Ontario is covered by the provincial Risk Management Program.
The increased investment in the Risk Management Program is in addition to a $15 million Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program. Farmers and other operations have access to cost-share funding to help enhance health and safety measures for employees, such as purchasing personal protective equipment, medical testing equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and temporary or permanent modifications to enhance physical distancing. Support is also available for farmers who experience unexpected costs for housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak on their farm.