CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers today reacted to the announcement by the federal government that it will increase the amount that can be loaned to canola farmers under the cash advance program.
“The China decision to block canola has had a major impact on grain farmers with no end in sight. Farmers don’t want tax dollars in the form of interest free loans, we want to be able to grow our grains and export them without political interference,” said Gunter Jochum, President.
Farmers are used to managing risk associated with factors that are outside of their control such as weather. Factors such as trade markets and political interference should be within our government’s control.
This new program may help short-term cash flow for some farmers, but to be eligible for $1 million advance on canola where $500,000 is interest free, you have to produce approximately 200,000 bushels of canola. In order to qualify for the maximum, you need 5,263 acres at 38 bu per acre, which is roughly a 16,000 acre farm.
Simply put, this is a political problem and needs a political solution. Sadly, the Federal Government has mismanaged grain exports in many parts of the world:
- Canola stopped by China
- Durum wheat blocked by Italy
- Pulse non-tariff barriers in India
- Non-tariff trade barriers blocking wheat with Vietnam, Peru and Saudi Arabia
Furthermore, we have not had a Canadian Ambassador in China since January 25, 2019 – over four months of missed opportunity for diplomatic solutions. Meanwhile, Canadian citizens are detained in Chinese jails in inhumane conditions, with no representation and Canada is funding the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) over $250 million in the next 5 years.
“It’s time to stand strong. In 2017 Canada imported over $54 billion in goods. Perhaps it is time to play this situation in a different way – the old way certainly hasn’t been working,” stated Daryl Fransoo, Director.
About the Wheat Growers:
Founded in 1970, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is a voluntary farmer-run advocacy organization dedicated to developing public policy solutions that strengthen the profitability and sustainability of farming, and the agricultural industry as a whole. For more information, please visit wheatgrowers.ca.