Government of Canada invests over $3-million for two projects supporting emergencies within its agriculture sector.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash
Many homes have and all should have smoke detectors, boats have life preservers, even sporting arenas contain defibrillators. All are measures taken to prepare for an emergency.
Canada’s Emergency Preparedness Week, currently in play May 1-7, 2022, is seen as another way to inform citizens the necessity of being ready for an emergency that comes its way.
As this writer will attest, it doesn’t have to be about physical items surrounding you to be prepared, it’s knowing what to do—such as when a house fire rears its head.
Mother Nature also has her claws out from time to time, as evidenced by in 2021 by the severe drought in the mid-west, the flooding in BC, and that pandemic-thing you’ve probably all heard about.
To better safeguard our agricultural sector, on May 5, 2022, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of over $3 million for two projects to enhance emergency management, develop risk assessments and strategies to mitigate disease outbreaks.
"Emergency Preparedness Week is an opportunity to review our emergency preparedness plans in the agricultural sector. The weather events of the past year and the avian flu we are currently experiencing are some examples of the many kinds of challenges agricultural producers must be ready to face. Our government continues to improve its practices, invest in prevention and support those who ensure our food security,” explained Bibeau.
With populace relying on farmers’ ability to safeguard their livestock and crops, and the manner in which it is processed and packaged, biosecurity measures and risk management assessment is an ever-important tool in maintaining our pipeline of food to plate.
The funding from the Government Ontario is providing monies to two specific organizations: Animal Health Canada; and Swine Innovation Porc.
- Animal Health Canada (nee National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council) headquartered in Elora, Ontario, will see up to $2,572,888 of investment for a three-year program via the AgriAssurance Program to enhance animal health emergency management in provincial/national associations.The project will better the current emergency management capabilities of Canada's livestock and poultry industries, to remain ready in the face of adverse events and a continually evolving disease landscape.The project is expected to analyze previous animal health emergencies, and seek to improve protocols, and better develop training and resources.
- Swine Innovation Porc will receive up to $446,135 under the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program, and will look to develop strategies to mitigate the impact of ASF (African swine fever) outbreak on the pork sector. ASF is currently on the rise globally, an infectious and deadly disease to swine. Although ASF has never crossed borders into either the US or Canada, both countries want to keep it that way, especially after seeing it hop across the Atlantic into nearby Dominican Republic.The preparedness program will help Canada better prevent ASF from entering the country, and in a worst-case scenario, help manage surplus animals during an outbreak.
Ag producers also have access to a comprehensive suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs to help manage risks that threaten the viability of their farms.
AgriStability, one of the BRM programs, protects Canadian producers against large declines in farming income because of production loss, disease outbreak, increased costs, or changing market conditions.
The deadline for farmers to sign up for program has been extended to June 30, 2022.
Emergency Preparedness Week is in its 27th year and occurs annually in the first week of May.
This year's theme is Emergency Preparedness Week: Be Ready for Anything, which highlights the importance of being prepared before disasters strike. The Government recognizes the challenges our agriculture sector has endured and will continue to work with industry partners to invest in tools and resources that help prepare for emergencies in the future.
The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness explained: "This dedicated funding for emergency management and risk assessment in the agriculture sector is a step forward that will benefit the industry, while helping our hardworking farmers and producers who feed Canadians stay prepared for future emergencies. As we mark Emergency Preparedness Week, a dedicated focus on being prepared across sectors will make Canada more resilient to the threats that exist, both globally and domestically."