CANADA - The General Manager of Manitoba Pork suggests government can best assist farmers by creating a regulatory climate that allows agriculture to access the resources needed to remain competitive in a global market, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Manitoba's Minister of Agriculture hosted a consultation session last week to gather input for the development of a "Targeted Growth Strategy" for the agriculture sector.
Andrew Dickson, the General Manger of Manitoba Pork, says the session provided a chance for organizations to learn about problems in other sectors and find where they can come together to lay out a game plan.
Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork:
First is you have to have farmers. You have to have a productive work force, you have to have a well trained work force, you have to have farmers who are highly educated and understand their farms and the opportunity that the land provides in terms of productive capacity.
You need capital, you need to have competitive rates. Producers will borrow a lot of money to run their business and we need to have access to that through good times and bad.
We need regulations that help the industry grow and develop and not that impede its development.
We need to continue to focus on our export markets. We need trade agreements to make sure that we have competitive access to those markets so we don't get excluded. We've had bad experiences on that.
We need to reduce our impact on the environment. We understand that. We have to do it in a sustainable way so that there's business opportunities and a lifestyle that can be passed on to the next generation of producers.
We need to maintain the confidence of the general public in that we're following good management practices and we're doing the sorts of things on our farms that a rational clear thinking person would support.
Mr Dickson says when you add it all up, the food sector is a very significant part of the employment picture in the province and a major driver of the economy.
ThePigSite News Desk