Leader Stephen Mandel outlined how an Alberta Party government would boost the province’s agriculture and agri-food industry. The plan includes the creation of a new innovation institute focused on investing in export markets and modernizing the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation.
“Albertans are deeply proud of what we grow and make in our province. The agriculture sector has huge growth potential for our province. We must support farmers with smart government support. Changing the way, we grow, raise, process and sell our agricultural products will create a healthier environment, and a stronger economy.” - Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel
An Alberta Party government will grow Alberta’s agriculture and agri-food industry by $1 billion dollars from $14 billion to $15 billion per year in farm cash receipts and create 6,000 new jobs and generate over $100 million in new revenues for the provincial and municipal governments.
Alberta Agriculture Innovation Fund (AAIF)
- An Alberta Party government will establish a new fund, as part of Alberta Innovates, with annual funding of $100 million beginning in 2019-20.
- AAIF will support research and provide seed funding to industry-led projects.
- Industry partnerships will explore advances, such as innovative forms of processing, support for increased upgrading of plant-based proteins, biofuels, and sustainability initiatives.
Moving up the value chain
- An Alberta Party Government will provide $2 million in support of an agri-tourism development fund. The strong, positive brand of Made in Canada and Made in Alberta products can be leveraged to increase agri-tourism opportunities.
- An Alberta Party Government will allocate $2 million to create an office of certification support that will assist Alberta farmers and ranchers in obtaining value-add certifications.
- We will partner with industry to develop a new export program with a mandate to sell more raw and value-added agriculture products abroad.
- An Alberta Party government will ensure a portion of the renewable energy auctions are allocated to biofuel-based projects. Increased biofuel production would help diversify the energy market and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- An Alberta Party Government will appoint a Bee Protection Task Force to provide recommendations to government on how to support healthy and productive bee populations in Alberta.
Enhance the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
- An Alberta Party Government will undertake a review of the AFSC to provide better service to farmers including developing succession planning programs to transition enterprises to a new generation of farmers entering the industry.
- The review will also explore the potential of expanding service offerings to include agricultural innovations, such as new and non-traditional crops and livestock, and to help producers enter new markets.
Working Better Together
- In consultation with Albertan farmers we will make a measured update to Bill 6 (Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act.) to make changes such as providing special rules and exemptions for small farms.
- Any sales of Crown land for agricultural use will be subject to careful consultation with the agricultural industry, First Nations communities, and other stakeholders.