Sask. budget includes additional ag spending

Sask. budget includes additional ag spending
Mar 21, 2019

The Ministry of Agriculture’s budget will increase by 3 per cent in 2019-20

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Donna Harpauer, Saskatchewan’s minister of finance, delivered a balanced provincial budget yesterday that includes more ag spending.

Overall, Saskatchewan will see a surplus of $34.4 million in 2019-20, Harpauer said.

The budget will help ensure the province’s ag industry is in a good place going forward, said David Marit, Saskatchewan’s ag minister.

“This provincial budget provides a stable foundation for Saskatchewan’s farm and ranch families with increases to the right programs and services,” he said in a statement yesterday. “This budget provides program enhancements and continued investment in research.”

The Ministry of Agriculture’s budget is up by 3 per cent to $391.3 million.

The ag ministry will direct $271.9 million to business risk management programs including Crop Insurance, AgriStability and Western Livestock Price Insurance.

Another $71.2 million will go towards programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The budget also includes an increase to the Rat Control portion of the Pest Biosecurity Program while maintaining funding to industry organizations like the Saskatchewan 4-H Council and Agriculture in the Classroom Saskatchewan.

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), welcomes the added ag spending.

However, current trade hurdles and potential weather issues could affect the amount of support available through risk management programs.

“We have serious trade and price concerns about canola and pulse crops, which are our main revenue generators on the crop side, and dry conditions are a concern for the livestock and crop sectors,” Todd Lewis, president of APAS, said in a statement yesterday. “While we appreciate the level of support for Crop and Livestock insurance, there is a risk that producers may not be adequately covered due to the love level of enrollment in AgriStability.”

Other budget highlights include:

  • $402 million in mental health spending, up $30 million from the previous budget
  • $3.28 billion for education, up more than $19 million compared to the 2018 budget
  • Non-refundable tax credits for volunteer firefighters and volunteer first responders

Minister Donna Harpauer
Government of Saskatchewan photo

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