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New Government's Approach to Agriculture Cause for Optimism

3 February 2017, at 6:00am

CANADA - The General Manager of Manitoba Pork says the new provincial government's approach to agriculture is cause for heightened optimism within Manitoba's pork industry, writes Bruce Cochrane.

An update on the "State of the Industry" was among the presentations yesterday as part of Manitoba Swine Seminar 2017 in Winnipeg.

Manitoba Pork General Manager Andrew Dickson says we're getting very clear signals from the Premier and his cabinet that they want to see more growth in the industry, they want to see more barns being built, more finished pigs going into the processing plants so that they're operating at capacity and more jobs created on farm and in processing to help grow the economy.

Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork:

They've already started making announcements about how they're going to help us.
One of the things they addressed was the farm building code.

We had an old not very helpful light commercial standard that was being used and it was adding cost that our competitors don't have to deal with so last week the government announced some changes.
They're going back to a revised farm building code.

Already we can anticipate being able to reduce investment costs for new facilities between five and ten percent.

This doesn't sound like a lot.

It's maybe not a game changer but it sure helps.

The other thing they've indicated is they're prepared to make amendments to some of the environmental regulations so we can get rid of these things like anaerobic digesters that they force us to use.

Of course no one's using them.

And too they're looking at the whole municipal planning process to see how it could be streamlined in some way because currently it takes almost a year to get approval and still it's a long shot as to whether a municipality is going to approve a barn.

We need to have more certainty brought into that whole process and the time lines have to be reduced because we simply can't go on the way we are.

Mr Dickson expects to see some real opportunities in the next year.