The provincial government is ready to engage with Ottawa for further farmer support, Minister Dreeshen said
By Diego Flammini
Alberta’s agriculture and forestry minister has responded to a letter from the NDP asking the provincial government to support farmers during the ongoing heatwave and drought.
Heather Sweet, the Alberta NDP’s agriculture critic, wrote to Devin Dreeshen on June 30 asking for reassurances.
But the provincial government has supported farmers even before this string of extreme heat began.
“Earlier this year Alberta’s government announced a 20 per cent reduction in insurance premiums saving farmers and ranchers $55 million, allowing them to take full advantage of the AgriInsurance program,” Dreeshen told Farms.com in an email.
On an individual basis, if a farmer has about 2,000 insured acres, he or she will save about $8,000.
Additional programs are accessible for farmers who need them, Dreeshen said.
“Alberta’s Water Pumping Program is also available to provide assistance to producers in securing adequate water supplies for domestic, livestock or agricultural purposes.,” he said.
Under this program, farmers pay a fee to rent pipe and pumping equipment to fill dugouts or other suitable catch basins from nearby water sources.
Alberta’s government is also willing to engage with the federal government with an additional AgriRecovery program, Dreeshen added.
Producer groups are hoping the two sides discuss the program soon.
“We are a resilient industry, but we have reached a critical level where we need to ask for help,” said Melanie Wowk, chair of Alberta Beef Producers, Northeast Now reported.
Dreeshen and his staff will continue to monitor the situation in Alberta and work with AFSC to ensure producers are adequately supported, he said.