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Growing Competitiveness Initiatives to Help Young Farmers

11 November 2013, at 5:30am

CANADA - Young farmers can now access financial assistance to enhance their business management practices through the new Growing Competitiveness program, Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced last week.

"Our Government recognizes that our young farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs are major contributors to the economy, health and well-being of Canada," said Minister Ritz. "These Growing Competitiveness initiatives will help position them for success in the rapidly expanding and changing agricultural landscape."

The Growing Competitiveness program provides opportunities in two areas: the first is directed at young farmers and the second is directed at agricultural organizations and agribusinesses. The focus is on individual business plans, financial planning and management, marketing and market development. Eligible recipients include agriculture producers, agri-food and agri-product processors and agriculture related businesses and organizations.

"The Growing Forward programs we are launching today focus on assisting young farmers, processors and industry organizations to thrive and grow by improving business skills and developing new products for current and future markets," said Minister Kostyshyn. "Farming is an important job. We want our young farmers and their families to succeed and help grow our local economies, and these programs are designed to give them the support they need to succeed in today's global marketplace."

Growing Competitiveness is being allocated C$1 million in 2013-14 under the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 bilateral agreement for programs that will be offered under this initiative.

Three Growing Forward 2 programs also launched today include:

  • Growing Value, which will provide funding to help agri-processors expand their current business activities through new, innovative product development and commercialization in the marketplace;
  • Growing Actions, which will provide targeted funding to agricultural organizations to promote strategies that help members and the sectors they represent take advantage of market-based opportunities; and
  • Growing Visions, which is directed at advancing organizations' capacity to develop and expand the agriculture, agri-food and agri-product industry through strategic planning and management.

More than C$4.6 million per year has been allocated for these three programs starting in 2013-14.

Growing Forward 2 programs aim to help the industry position itself to respond to future opportunities and challenges and to achieve its full potential as a productive and profitable sector of the Canadian economy.

In Manitoba, the federal and provincial governments are investing C$176 million over five years, a 50 per cent increase in cost-shared funding to the Growing Forward 2 programs.

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