The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities is raising concern over the lack of support from the Federal Government for producers and the job they do.
President Ray Orb says Saskatchewan producers are leaders in Global Food Security.
SARM has been to Ottawa numerous times and raised its concerns over the government's lack of understanding when it comes to the sustainable practices Saskatchewan producers are using to reduce our carbon footprint.
"SARM has exerted efforts in Ottawa to highlight the support we need to meet the federal government’s food security goals. We need support to reduce the impacts of inflation, which makes it harder to get loans, diminishes our purchasing power, and creates a barrier for new farmers to enter the industry. Support to counteract increased federal environmental regulations and policies such as proposed reductions in fertilizer emissions, while still increasing agriculture exports from $55 billion to $85 billion. Support to deal with ineffective environmental policies that dictate that farmers find solutions to reduce their carbon footprint when the technological advancement required to convert an entire farming operation to renewable energy simply does not yet exist. And, lastly, support shouldering record inflation-fueled price hikes for gas, fertilizer, and herbicides. Expenses that pave a path to unsustainable agriculture, lower production, and food insecurity."
Orb says when they were in Ottawa last fall for meetings they were not picking up "good vibes" from the Federal Ministers adding they seem to have a pretty clear mandate and they're not willing to stray from that.
"One of the things of course you know, is a carbon tax. The federal imposed carbon tax. You know, farmers do get some exemptions, but they also pay carbon tax on a lot of other things like propane for drying grain and natural gas for drying grain. We still haven't resolved some of those issues with Bill C-234 and now we're having to look at this Clean Fuel Standard".
He points out the 'Clean Fuel Standard' will also end up adding costs to producers for fuel, diesel fuel, and all the products that are used on the farm.
Orb notes there are actions that Ottawa could take to ease the financial burden, especially in areas where farmers are willing to invest and buy new technology.
"I think the federal government could send the message that yeah we can do some things to reduce the cost not only of technology but also of some of the inputs on? On the farm in the same way and I think we rewarding farmers rather than penalizing them in this province would be the way to go."
SARM and its members remain hopeful that provincial leaders can and will work together to find solutions that encourage positive change, in a pragmatic way.
"It’s time for provincial and federal governments to not only recognize but reward the world-class agricultural practices happening right here. Saskatchewan’s producers foster environmental practices that make them among the most sustainable, technologically advanced, growers in the world."
To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with SARM President Ray Orb click on the link below.