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Results of P.E.I. agriculture evaluation now available online

Potato farm
Potato farm

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The results of an evaluation and consultation process to help develop programs and policies for the future success of P.E.I.’s agriculture industry are now available online.

The report, “What We’ve Heard: The Next Policy Framework for Agriculture (2018-2023),” can be viewed here.  

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries says the suggestions will allow the province to hit the ground running when the next policy framework comes into effect.

The current agriculture policy framework, Growing Forward 2, expires March 31, 2018. Canadian ministries of agriculture recently signed a new policy framework for agriculture, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a $3-billion investment in the country’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector.

That policy will begin April 1, 2018.

 Department clients, industry stakeholders, and the public were invited to provide their input in several priority areas throughout the evaluation and consultation process. Engagement activities included client surveys, industry consultation sessions, meetings with industry stakeholders, and an online survey for public feedback.

“We appreciated that government provided an opportunity to provide direct input into the process,” said P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture president David Mol.

“This agreement will help set the course for growth for Island farmers for the next five years and it was important that the perspectives of primary producers were heard.” 

Some of the highlights of the report:

• 80 per cent of client respondents indicated that the current GF2 programs are administered effectively

• 78 per cent of client respondents indicated that the GF2 program responded to their needs as a member of the agriculture sector

• 63 per cent of stakeholder responses indicated that programs support the sector’s efforts to be more profitable

• Clients and stakeholders identified challenges with respect to program administration, and said the next policy framework’s programs should aim to streamline administrative processes so that there is a reduction in paperwork for applicants

• The evaluation found that planning for the next policy framework should include reviewing the scope of similar programs in other jurisdictions to see if the P.E.I. department’s programs are comparable with respect to eligible projects, initiatives and activities

• Some feedback indicated that the self-assessment process of the business development program was not helpful, and that a peer or group assessment should be considered for the next policy framework.

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