Farmscape for October 29, 2009
Saskatchewan's agriculture minister is hoping enhanced traceability within Canada's livestock sector will help secure ongoing access to overseas markets for Canadian food products.
The Saskatchewan government has launched a five million dollar program which will rebate up to 70 percent of the cost of radio frequency identification tag readers.
The voluntary program is open to Cattle, bison, sheep, goat, hog and cervid producers, feedlots, backgrounders, veterinary clinics, meat processors, assembly yards, privately managed community pastures, fairs and exhibitions.
Saskatchewan agriculture minister Bob Bjornerud says, with talk of the possibility of mandatory traceability at the federal level, the program is intended to help producers prepare.
Clip-Bob Bjornerud-Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister:
It's part of the Growing Forward Program so we're going back to April 1st of 2009 so anybody that bought a reader or something since then would qualify for the rebate and it's an ongoing program to 2013 because that's what Growing Forward is.
It's got another pretty near four years left in the program.
It's not time sensitive here although we would suggest if producers want to go down this route take a good look at what we're offering here and find out all the details and if it seems to be a fit for them well then take advantage of the program.
The federal minister feels that it will open up markets across the world and I certainly hope he's right on this one.
I'm not all that totally sure that that's what will happen but I hope he's right on that because if we're making this investment then there's certainly got to be a return back to help producers to pay for this and hopefully a few additional dollars on top of it.
But to open up more markets is certainly a worthwhile cause that the federal minister has been doing and working hard in that direction.
Hopefully traceability is going to be part and parcel of also opening up markets.
Bjornerud acknowledges not all producers are pleased with traceability but he says this program offers an opportunity to defray some of the costs and he encourages producers to consider it.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council