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Making Use of Existing Support Programs Encouraged

by 5m Editor
21 October 2009, at 8:26am

CANADA - Manitoba agriculture minister is encouraging the province's pork producers to make use of existing programs to cope with ongoing losses while her staff explores additional avenues for providing support, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Last week representatives of Manitoba Pork Council met with the provincial agriculture minister to discuss options for helping pork producers contend with ongoing losses.

Suggested options include assistance similar to that offered by other provinces, tax breaks, concessions on government backed loans and help to comply with new environmental regulations.

Agriculture minister Rosann Wowchuk says her staff is now reviewing the suggestions.

Rosann Wowchuk-Manitoba Agriculture Minister

We talked about the loan program, what we might be able to do there.

We talked about environmental supports and you know that there is an environmental program that's in place right now that can help with some of those things like putting covers on lagoons.

We have to look at those and I have to think about as the minister, if you look at loan deferrals and forgiveness of interest, there is a certain percentage of people who took those loans.

Not everybody did so then you're creating a huge advantage for those people who took the loans.

They got the money and their interest would be forgiven.

Other people didn't take the loans and carried on.

We have to review all of that and try to find a balance that would be fair.

But I would encourage people to look at the programs that are there.

We have a package of safety net programs that we're advancing money out of.

We're looking at what else can be done.

We're looking at how we can increase slaughter capacity so that there's a market here at home and we will continue to work on that but the pork industry will always be a part of the economy of Manitoba.


Ms Wowchuk acknowledges this is a challenging time.

However she stresses the demand just isn't there for the amount of hogs currently being produced so there has to be restructuring.

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