Business & Policy
Expanding agricultural production insurance
By Top Crop Manager
November 19, 2014 - The Ontario government is proposing amendments to the 1996 Crop Insurance Act that would, if passed, allow more types of agricultural products to be covered by production insurance.
Production insurance is part of a suite of business risk management programs designed to help farmers manage losses due to events like weather, pests and disease. The costs of these programs are predictable, stable and shared by producers and the provincial and federal governments.
"This proposed legislation would, if passed, help meet the needs of our farmers and bring Ontario in line with the rest of Canada," says Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Giving more producers the opportunity to access production insurance will help them better manage risk and encourage greater innovation, profitability and job creation in the agri-food sector."
Currently, production insurance is available for almost 90 commercially grown crops, including grains, oilseeds and certain fruits and vegetables. However, Ontario is the only province in Canada without the authority to expand production insurance beyond crops to the broader agricultural sector. In 2013, there were more than 14,000 producers insured under Ontario’s Production Insurance program, representing more than five million acres in crop land.
If passed, the proposed Agriculture Insurance Act will give Ontario the authority to expand insurance to support the agri-food industry in the event of unexpected loss of production for agriculture products.
Expanding the number of products eligible for production insurance and strengthening the agri-food industry is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
By allowing more types of products to be covered by production insurance, the Ontario government says it is fulfilling a commitment made to farmers under the Growing Forward 2 agreement in 2013.