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KAP Calls on Manitoba to Help Hog Producers

by 5m Editor
19 October 2009, at 11:27am

CANADA - KAP is calling on Manitoba to offer assistance to hog producers similar to that offered in other provinces, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Last week delegates attending Keystone Agricultural Producers general council meeting passed a resolution calling on the Manitoba Government to work with the hog industry and provide financial support for hog producers.

KAP president Ian Wishart notes Manitoba hog producers have faced a series of challenges.

Ian Wishart-Keystone Agricultural Producers

I think everyone's familiar with the fact that the federal government has recently announced a program that is a combination of loans and then also money to help with the transitioning for some people out of the industry.

Many other provinces have come up with additional support and we're looking to the province here to do the same kind of thing in terns of leadership.

We're trying to work closely with Manitoba Pork Council of course in terms of making sure we're all looking for the same thing.

We recognize that there's a greater need than the federal program alone seems to be able to deal with and Manitoba has had and continues to have a very large and viable pork industry.

It needs some restructuring and to position itself to market in the future so that producers actually can make a living at it again.

Certainly we've already been talking to the province a little bit about some of their environmental rules and regulations that have added considerable cost to producers and what they can do in that area.

We're also talking to them about their taxation situation because of production buildings for instance been paying education tax and we really think that makes very little sense.

That's something they could do relatively easily and restructure the industry to make it more competitive on a long term basis but we think a little assistance or perhaps some top-up of the transition programs.

We do have to be careful of course that we don't do something that is not trade acceptable but there clearly has been some other programs delivered in other provinces that seem to fall within those guidelines and we think we can do something here as well.

Mr Wishart says it's a matter of determining weaknesses in the federal program and coming up with something to fill the gaps.

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