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Major Project for Canadian Hog Industry

by 5m Editor
21 March 2012, at 9:32am

CANADA - Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbinière-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, and Pierre Corbeil, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, announced the allocation of $500,000 to the Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec (FPPQ) to implement a major project for controlling the virus responsible for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), which is affecting the health of hog herds.

This financial assistance is being provided under the Support Program for Sectoral Development Strategies, the product of an agreement between the federal government and the government of Québec.

"Our government is investing in the hog sector because we believe in it and want to see it prosper," said Mr Gourde. "This major project aims not only to promote agriculture as a key driver of our economy but also to ensure competitiveness in the sector."

"This major project will generate significant benefits in the hog sector. By equipping it with the capacity to limit the economic losses currently resulting from this virus, we are working with the industry as it searches for structuring means to improve the financial health of enterprises," underscored Mr Corbeil.

The purpose of the project is to control and ultimately eradicate the PRRS virus in five production zones in the Montérégie, Chaudière-Appalaches, Estrie and Centre-du-Québec regions. The disease, which is not transmissible to humans, affects hog livestock by triggering abortions in sows and preventing growth in young pigs. Implementation of the project will allow for the development of strategies initiated by producers themselves to fight PRRS. By 2014, an expected 15 to 20 additional production zones will be covered by virus control measures until the disease is eradicated from Quebec entirely.

"MAPAQ's and the federal government's financial involvement, for a value of $500,000, for us means a strong commitment from the governments to support the meaningful initiatives for Quebec hog farms. The project is also part of the FPPQ's vision to reduce on-farm production costs by improving the health status of our herds. Hog producers are investing the significant amount of $320,000 in this future project. It is known that, every year, the PRRS virus costs producers more than $30 million," stated Cécilien Berthiaume, 1st Vice-President of the Fédération des producteurs de porcs.

"This project shows that producers want to get involved and ensure the sustainability of their enterprises and the hog industry. I applaud the initiative of the Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec to invest in a highly beneficial project that will foster the growth of the hog sector," concluded Minister Corbeil.

The financial assistance provided to implement the project comes from the Support Program for Sectoral Development Strategies. This cost-shared program, associated with the AgriFlexibility Fund, aims to stimulate growth and strengthen coordination in biofood sectors within a highly competitive and constantly changing business environment. In March 2011, a budget allocation of $16.7 million was announced to support the implementation of this program.

The hog sector is an important force in our economy: it generates over $1.1 billion in marketplace farm cash receipts and over $3.2 billion in processed product sales. It also generates close to 28,000 direct and indirect jobs for Quebec residents.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.