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Government of Canada and Nunavut Launch Flexible and Innovative Growing Forward Programs for Harvesters

08 April 2009 

OTTAWA, Ontario – April 6, 2009 – Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Honourable Peter Taptuna, Nunavut’s Minister of Economic Development & Transportation, today announced details of new agricultural programs for harvesters in Nunavut under the Growing Forward framework. The announcement follows the recent signing of the Growing Forward bilateral agreement by the Government of Canada and Nunavut.

“All levels of government must work together to drive Canadian agriculture and this agreement is making that happen,” said Minister Ritz. “Growing Forward delivers stable and bankable programs that work for farmers, and, in Nunavut, for harvesters. The agreement we signed today will kick-start the rollout of these essential programs in Nunavut.”

“We are proud to support our harvesters. They provide healthy food for our families, pass cultural knowledge to our children, and are the foundation of our communities,” said Minister Taptuna. “Country food, the choice of many Nunavummiut, is delicious, nutritious and wholesome. This agreement will help to ensure traditional sources of food continue to be available for our families and for commercial purposes.”

Growing Forward is a national agriculture framework to coordinate federal and provincial agriculture policy. Federal, provincial, and territorial governments are delivering $1.3 billion over five years. Today’s agreement with the Government of Nunavut will deliver over $2 million for programs supporting the territory’s commercial harvesters.

Growing Forward programs are tailored with the flexibility to meet Nunavut’s diverse regional requirements. The Government of Canada and Government of Nunavut have worked with harvesters to develop the Growing Forward framework.

The 2009‐2013 Growing Forward framework will support sustainable and innovative commercial harvesting activities in Nunavut and contribute to community economic development. Joint federal-territorial investments include population studies of caribou and musk ox to ensure herd sustainability, traditional and commercial community harvest projects, a community greenhouse development program, and value added and marketing projects.
A complete list of Growing Forward programs will be available by mid-April on www.edt.gov.nu.ca and www.agr.gc.ca/GrowingForward.


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For more information, media may contact:

Media Relations 
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 
Ottawa, Ontario 
613-759-7972
1-866-345-7972

Meagan Murdoch 
Press Secretary 
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz 
613-759-1059

Matthew Illaszewicz
Manager, Communications
Department of Economic Development & Transportation
Government of Nunavut
Iqaluit, Nunavut
867-975-7818

BACKGROUNDER 

Highlights of the Canada-Nunavut Bilateral Agreement 

The Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut have concluded negotiations and have signed the bilateral agreement that includes a contribution agreement. The bilateral agreement sets out the allocation of federal and provincial funds for non-Business Risk Management (BRM) Growing Forward programs to be offered by Nunavut. 

The non-BRM programs are designed to complement existing BRM programming with a greater focus on supporting innovation, commercialization and profitability for the sector. Non-BRM programs being launched in the territory of Nunavut include: 

A Competitive & Innovative Sector

• Value-Added Program: The Value-Added Development Program is designed to encourage producers, harvesters and processors to develop new techniques and processes to increase efficiency, with a view of increasing the value of the products harvested or farmed. (Total investment: $60,000)


• Nunavut and Circumpolar Research Program: The Nunavut and Circumpolar Research Program is designed to allow Nunavut harvesters, producers, processors, businesses, organizations and governments to advance research and demonstration projects relevant to the Nunavut agriculture and agri-food industry. It also allows for the exchange of information and ideas across the circumpolar world, where Nunavut will receive a net benefit. (Total investment: $77,846)


• Human Resource Development Program: The Human Resource Development Program is designed to encourage farmers, harvesters and managers to develop skills and knowledge through participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and exchange programs. (Total investment: $200,000)


• Community Greenhouse Development Program: This Community Greenhouse Development Program is designed to support the development of small community greenhouses in Nunavut communities. (Total investment: $135,000)


• Commercial Harvest Program: The Commercial Harvest Program is designed to assist Nunavut communities, organizations and governments to implement and conduct commercial harvests for plants, berries, caribou, muskox and other wild species as shown to be feasible. (Total investment: $340,000)


• Traditional Community Harvest Program: This Traditional Community Harvest Program is designed to assist Nunavut harvesters in the local harvest of plants, berries, caribou, muskox and other wild species as shown to be feasible for distribution within communities through such mechanisms as community markets. (Total investment: $80,000)


• Market Development Program: This Market Development Program is designed to allow Nunavut producers, harvesters and food processors to capture new market opportunities and enhance their competitive capability. (Total investment: $160,000)

A Sector that Contributes to Society’s Priorities and is Proactive in Managing Risk

• Food Safety Program: The Food Safety Program is designed to encourage farmers, harvesters and managers to support the study of the food chain in Nunavut and the development of processes to reduce food safety and quality risks which will result in improved access to markets. (Total investment: $200,000)


• Herd Management Program: This Program is designed to encourage government, harvesters and managers to support the study of the populations of caribou and musk-ox herds that are commercially harvestable, and that harvesting occurs in an environmentally safe manner. (Total investment: $937,333)