The following are the issues highlighted at our May 10th meeting with the Minister of Agriculture.
- The optics around the released programs suggests that the Nova Scotia government isn’t interested in farms grossing under $30,000. Over 50% of registered farms in Nova Scotia do not qualify for programs based on the released criteria, not even those who have a business plan demonstrating growth above the minimum threshold.
- For many farms, season extension is an avenue to generate more income over the course of a year. Season extension comes in various forms from selection of plant variety to physical structures. Capital for structures is often not available on farms, particularly those starting out or expanding. It is through season extension funding that many farms have been able to increase the harvest season and in turn improving food security here in Nova Scotia.
- For livestock production, genetic improvement is an opportunity for farms to increase efficacy and be more profitable. Genetic enhancement programs allow for farmers and ranchers to respond to global competition immediately.
- An abattoir shortage has been identified by many members and followed up in with a discussion between NSFA and NSDA.
- Protecting the environment makes sense for farmers; however, the expenses for projects that focus on environmental protection can’t always be cost recovered through business planning.
- On farm research planning needs to be completed early so trials can start at the beginning of a season.
- Farms rely and plan business ventures based on programs. Drastic changes disrupt these business plans causing undue panic and alarm.