Assessing COVID-19 and Cdn. ag

Assessing COVID-19 and Cdn. ag
Mar 18, 2020

The CFA is asking farmers to fill out a survey

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is asking farmers across the country to complete a survey which will allow the organization to understand of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the ag sector.

Every Tuesday during the outbreak, the CFA will release its Farmer Survey on COVID-19. (The French survey can be found here).

Farmers will have until Thursday at 5:00 p.m. EST of each week to fill out the poll. Questions include the type of farm and its location, and how the outbreak is affecting operations.

The CFA will collect the data and distribute it accordingly, said Laurie Karson, director of communications and stakeholder relations with the CFA.

“We’re going to be providing the information from the national survey to all of our (provincial federation of agriculture) general managers and board members,” she told “We’ll also be providing aggregated information on what farmers are saying based on provinces and different commodity groups.”

The CFA will share information from the survey with the federal government, Karson said.

The survey questions may change as the outbreak continues and governments enact measures to stop the virus’s spread.

One of the questions on this week’s survey asks how a farm would be affected if it lost access to international workers.

Canada’s closures of its borders to most people trying to enter the country during the outbreak means farmers will have difficulties finding staff.

“The temporary foreign workers issue is the big one that everyone is nervous about,” Karson said. “We’re working on a proposal that should be submitted to the federal government within the next 24 hours.”

Ag has been included in some of the measures the Trudeau government has announced to help Canadians during the coronavirus outbreak.

The near-term credit available to the sector through Farm Credit Canada is being increased, the prime minister announced Wednesday afternoon.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau is keeping in contact with industry stakeholders.

“In order to follow up on all the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the agriculture and agri-food sector, I struck an intersectoral working group that meets three times a week via a conference call,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “I have also convened a teleconference with my provincial and territorial counterparts, with whom I will remain in regular contact.

“Our government is working 24-7 to monitor the economic impacts and share information, while identifying opportunities to provide support for farmers and food businesses.”

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Comments (1)

With 500K Canadian Citizens applying for unemployment last week, I can't see what the need of international workers is!
helen |Mar 22 2020 11:12PM

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