Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier says that he is glad the government will be maintaining their funding for the agriculture sector in the new budget.
The 2018 Budget unveiled Thursday will have 1.1 Billion dollars going towards agriculture, which the Government says will be used on sustainable innovation growth, diversifying the economy and being competitive in the world market.
Carlier says that farmers and producers can expect new developments from the budget, through the new Canadian Agriculture Program, a 47 Million dollar initiative done with the help of the Federal Government.
“There’s a lot of interesting things around the upgrading of facilities for food processing, being able to continue the business risk management tools, Ag. insurance etc. that also come out of our program, that our farmers rely on in those times where there’s hail damage or whatever else might be going on.There’s going to a little bit of tweaking to improve where we can improve, like energy efficiencies and hard cash being able to incent farmers and producers to make their operations more energy efficient.”
The Government will also be working on projects focused on towns and cities with deep agriculture roots, such as Lloydminster.
“A big part of that is we’re also maintaining the [Municipal Sustainability Initiative] funding” Carlier says “Which is funding that communities use to maintain their infrastructure, the services that rural Albertans need. So that’s being maintained, and I think that’s important.”
Carlier adds that investment in infrastructure, including projects like new schools and rebuilding the Dr.Cooke Centre in Lloydminster could foster new people coming to work in rural towns with their families.
On the note of the future, Carlier says they will continue to focus on being part of the agriculture and food market at home and internationally, for an ever-expanding world population.