Farmers in Saskatchewan are angry with the federal government for harming their ability to ensure food security.
The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities has issued a stark warning about the detrimental impact of what it terms “ineffective” federal climate policies on the ability of Saskatchewan farmers to lead the world in agricultural production.
Representing rural communities for over a century, the group has been a vocal critic of the federal government’s carbon tax and its fertilizer emission reduction target.
Ray Orb, president of the association, emphasized the urgent need for support from both federal and provincial governments to address the challenges faced by farmers.
Orb outlined several key areas where support is crucial, including combating inflation’s adverse effects on loans and purchasing power, and countering proposed regulations on fertilizer emissions.
“(We need) support to deal with ineffective environmental policies that dictate that farmers find solutions to reduce their carbon footprint when the technological advancement required to convert an entire farming operation to renewable energy simply does not yet exist,” said Orb.
“And, lastly, support shouldering record inflation-fueled price hikes for gas, fertilizer, and herbicides. Expenses that pave a path to unsustainable agriculture, lower production, and food insecurity.”
One of the central concerns raised by the rural municipality group is the discrepancy between government policies and the practical realities of farming.
Saskatchewan’s agricultural sector plays a pivotal role in global food supply chains, with the province renowned for its consistent and high-quality production of grains, oilseeds, pulses, livestock and other products.
Additionally, recent research shows that Saskatchewan has some of the most climate-friendly agricultural products in the world, outpacing other countries in terms of low-emission production.
Saskatchewan achieved record-breaking agricultural exports totalling $17.5 billion in 2021.
“Every family in the province is feeling the pinch in their household budget, the cost of food and fuel are just a few things that have been hit with inflation hikes,” said Orb.
“Producers are hurting, in turn, consumers too. Saskatchewan is a self-sustainable province, we utilize everything we produce and see it on our kitchen tables, it’s time to start unifying our goals.”