Executive Summary of CTAG report
The Competitive Transition Analysis Group (CTAG), a joint committee of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA) and the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture (NSDA), was mandated by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture to recommend how current and future NSDA programs and services should be aligned to support the Competitive Transition Framework, a framework focused on three economic principles:
i) transitional support, ii) strategic public investment and iii) public goods and services.
Through an extensive consultation process with stakeholders, major theme areas related to competitiveness were identified. There was consensus within the industry that to achieve competitiveness, industry needed enhanced and/or more effective assistance in accessing existing government programs and services. Stakeholders were also united in the emphasis placed on the need for a stronger business climate and culture within the agriculture sector, both in terms of the acquisition of business skills within the industry, and in terms of ensuring that organizational structure and regulations support business growth within government . In addition, stakeholders stressed the need for improved cooperation within the agriculture industry, and improved communications and cooperation within NSDA and between NSDA and other government departments/agencies and NGOs.
Other common needs of industry stakeholders focused on regional extension services, research and innovation, public goods and services, transitional developmental support programs, critical processing infrastructure, and the development of highly qualified personnel to serve and work in the industry.
As a result of the industry needs assessment and examination of the current programs and services offered through NSDA and other government departments and agencies, 20 recommendations were identified to strengthen the three economic principles of the Competitive Transition Framework. In strengthening the three principles through these recommendations, both industry and government will move closer toward the collectively-supported vision of an agricultural sector that is self-sufficient, independent, sustainable, has appropriate intervention by government, allowing market signals to drive businesses.