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Agriculture: “In the long term, there will be adjustments to be made,” says Lamontagne

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar22,2024

Agriculture: « &In the long term, there will be adjustments to be made,

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Quebec's net agricultural income will increase from $959 million in 2022 to $66 million in 2024.


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Drought, floods, insect pests… the 2023 harvest proved catastrophic for Quebec farmers. But the Legault government avoids describing the current situation as a crisis.

Faced with a disastrous drop in their income and extreme climatic events, farmers have expressed their fed up during demonstrations in recent weeks.

The Financière agricole du Québec, in a way the insurer of farmers' production, will pay $1 billion to compensate producers for their 2023 losses, revealed La Presse on Thursday.

In an interview on the show Midi Info on ICI Première, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Agriculture, André Lamontagne wanted to be reassuring about the coming years.

The year 2023 was extremely difficult, but the good news is that we have a system to support and accompany producers.

A quote from André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture. x27;Agriculture

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The latter also affirmed that he had undertaken the revision of the Crop Insurance Program crop by crop, in order to take into account climatic realities. He added that he had received an initial report of the situation earlier this month.

In the long term, there will be adjustments to be made, but [you should know that] agriculture is an essential activity [for our economy], he summarized.

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The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, André Lamontagne (Archive photo)

In a press scrum Thursday morning at the National Assembly, Mr. Lamontagne was asked twice whether the agricultural world was in crisis. He talked about the really tough weather in 2023, tough interest rates, and supply shocks during the pandemic, while avoiding stating that we had passed the stage of the crisis.

These are difficult times, there have already been difficult times in the past and we will get through it, he added, wanting to be optimistic.

According to Catherine Lefebvre, the president of the Association of Market Gardeners of Quebec, less than 50% of market gardeners in the province are working on their own. insured with the Financière agricole du Québec.

Insurance is not suitable for our sector.

A quote from Catherine Lefebvre, president of the Association of Market Gardeners of Quebec

[For our sector] we are talking about a maximum of 18 million dollars which were disbursed for crop insurance, but on our side, we estimate the losses at 200 million, she added to the show Tout un matin.

For his part, Minister Lamontagne explained that this was explained by the fact that the current insurance plan is collective.

Every time there are disbursements, it can happen that there are people who receive more than the losses they received. #x27;they have had, whether they receive less, or whether they receive what they lost, he explained.

Year after year, it is a scheme that has found its favor with policyholders. Will we have to reconsider the fact that it is a collective plan? It will be part of the work [of the reform], he assured in an interview on the program Midi Info.

The Parti Québécois relayed in the House the dismay of producers and the pessimism of the next generation of farmers.

What is happening there is major and will ignite the rest of Quebec, there are significant mobilizations everywhere, for his part declared PQ MP Pascal Bérubé in a press scrum in the morning.

He notably referred to the farmers who demonstrated with dozens of tractors in Rimouski earlier in March, in front of the office of the minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions, Maïté Blanchette Vézina.

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Parti Québécois MP Pascal Bérubé (Archive photo)

Mr. Bérubé believes that current government aid is insufficient and calls for agriculture to obtain an envelope equivalent to 1% of the Quebec government's budget.

The compensation offered by Financière agricole is often undervalued in relation to the assessment of the applicant, for his part argued his colleague Joël Arseneau, demanding more than a revision of the current programs.

There are farms that are sold, there are farms that are abandoned. There are farmers who are currently telling their children not to take over the farms. It's extremely disturbing and it will get worse quickly.

A quote from Pascal Bérubé, member of the Parti Québécois

They are at the end of their rope, they are no longer capable, if things continue like this, they will no longer be able to do their job, they will no longer be able to feed Quebecers, said Liberal MP André Fortin during the question period. Wednesday, worried about the next generation of farmers.

According to forecasts from the federal Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Quebec's net agricultural income will increase from $959 million in 2022 to $66 million in 2024, the highest level since 1938.

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Thursday, December 21 officially marks the end for the Olymel factory in Vallée-Jonction.

It is the pork producers who obtained the the most significant aid from Financière agricole, approximately $380 million from the Agricultural Income Stabilization Insurance Program.

On the airwaves from HERE First, Mr. Lamontagne recognized that the pork industry was going through difficult times.

The major pork producing countries in around the world are facing this restructuring, which came after COVID-19 and certain geopolitical movements, notably with China. The industry is experiencing a lot of turbulence, said Mr. Lamontagne, while recalling that he was awaiting reports on this sector in great difficulty.

With information from The Canadian Press

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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