Feds hike cash advances, extend AgriStability deadline

Minister Bibeau's government increases cash advances for farmers and extends program deadlines.  |  Ed White photo

Ottawa has increased to $1 million the cash available to farmers under the Advance Payment Program and extended the deadline to participate in AgriStability as a result of the ongoing trade dispute with China.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and International Trade Minister Jim Carr announced the measures this morning.

While all farmers are eligible for the increased cash, the interest-free portion will be higher for canola growers; they can get $500,000 compared to $100,000 for others.

Many had called for the increase in the APP, which has been at $400,000 for years, although most agree it is far from a solution to the problem.

China has blocked canola shipments since March 1, citing contamination, but most see it as retaliation for the arrest and detainment of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has requested permission to travel to China to conduct inspections but that has not yet been forthcoming.

Carr will lead a trade mission to Japan and South Korea in June to find new markets for Canadian canola. He said he intends to use his presence at other upcoming meetings to work on market development.

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