Loans available for Canadian pork producers
Canadian pork producers can start applying for government-backed loans from today. Applications will also be available for the Hog Farm Transition Program next week.
"We've worked in lock-step with the Canadian Pork Council to make sure the details of these important programs hit the target for producers at the farm gate," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "We know the Canadian pork industry can be profitable and that's why we're offering government-backed loans to help them weather the current economic storm. But we also know the industry needs to restructure and we're working with the Canadian Pork Council to deliver funding for those who need to transition to another sector."
"These programs work hand-in-hand and they are flexible to meet producers' individual needs," said Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture). "In the end, putting Farmers First means letting farmers choose the program that works best for them."
Many financial institutions, including Farm Credit Canada, will be ready to work with pork producers to develop long-term business plans and deliver government-backed loans. Producers can check www.agr.gc.ca/HILLRP to find out which institutions are currently participating. The commercially based loans will be negotiated for each specific farm operation and based on viable business plans. By using government-backed loans, Canadian pork producers will have better access to credit and the opportunity to restructure for the long term.
The Government of Canada and the Canadian Pork Council are also partnering to deliver $75 million through the Hog Farm Transition Program. The Canadian Pork Council will have registration forms for the program available to producers on October 8, 2009. The program will be retroactive to April 1, 2009, therefore, producers who depopulate their barns prior to applying for the program will still be eligible.
"These are important programs; one will allow producers to access credit they need to manage through the current difficulties while the other will provide assistance to set aside production," said Jurgen Preugschas, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council. "We have been working in collaboration with Minister Ritz to ensure that these programs address the needs of producers."
These programs are in addition to the $17-million International Pork Marketing Fund the Government of Canada is investing for market research, promotion and access initiatives to find new customers for Canadian pork products.
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