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Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Confident in Growth Potential of Swine Industry

by 5m Editor
18 December 2006, at 10:59am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2268. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2268

Saskatchewan's minister of agriculture and food is confident his province is ideally suited to accommodate an aggressive expansion of livestock production, both cattle and hogs in an environmentally sound manner.

A survey of Saskatchewan's swine producers has shown abut 80 percent support a plan to commit hogs to and invest in a Saskatchewan based primary processing plant to replace the Mitchell's Gourmet Foods plant slated for closure by Maple Leaf.

Agriculture Minister Mark Wartman says the province's geology and ability to produce large amounts of feed creates significant opportunity to expand hog production and the government has aggressive long term plans for growth and wants to see full cycle, from farrow to finish to slaughter and processing.

"I think we want to see as much value add as we can here in the province. Certainly we've been a supplier of commodity for decades and we see the value in turning that around and doing as much processing as we can here.

Really livestock enables us to do more of that processing close to home and we've been working very closely with producers as they've been looking at how to respond to Maple Leaf's announcement that they were shutting down their slaughter facility here.

We also have had in place in the province a meat strategy that provides some capital support but we're reviewing that now and one of the items of course that is very important is to see how we can engage producer involvement.

I think, in the long run, if we get a very good producer and industry driven base and have an experienced company that's involved as well, we'll have the best of both worlds and we should see a very strong slaughter industry be able to move forward."

Wartman notes, under the provincial meat strategy, the province would cover 15 percent of capital costs and, while it's premature to speculate on additional support, other options are being explored that might facilitate producer operations.

Staff Farmscape.Ca

5m Editor