Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson announces new program for farmers

by | Mar 23, 2024

Agricultural producers can apply for financial support to maintain healthy soil, water resources, biodiversity, climate adaptation 

New Brunswick farmers have access to new resources to help them conserve and enhance the resiliency of their land. The Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program encourages farmers to accelerate the adoption of land use and management practices.

The program provides financial support to agricultural producers to maintain and provide healthy soils and water resources, wildlife habitat and biodiversity, and adapt to the effects of climate change—all of which promote healthy, functioning ecosystems. 

The Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries provides funding through the Canada-New Brunswick Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program.

“Farmers are recognized as stewards of the land,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson. “However, some environmental beneficial management practices and land uses come at a significant expense to the farm. This program will help incentivize farmers to further enhance their environmental stewardship for the benefit of everyone. The Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program will provide the necessary resources and support to help farmers succeed and protect our agricultural land and environment for generations to come.”

Margaret Johnson is the Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries for the Government of New Brunswick. (Submitted photo)

“Climate change is having a direct impact on our farmers, and it is vitally important that we support innovative agricultural land use practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint,” said federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “The Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program will allow producers to adopt farming practices that improve water quality, increase biodiversity and enhance soil health. Funding from this program will directly support the development of resilient farmlands and help farmers in New Brunswick protect their land and their operations.”

There are three main categories of eligible practices:

· reduced tillage

· ponds and wetlands

· pollinator habitat, critical and marginal landscapes, trees, riparian areas and crop management

“In the context of climate change, farmers must improve the resilience of their farms,” said Anna Belliveau, CEO of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick. “The Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program is an additional tool that farmers can use to help absorb the financial costs for this type of project.”

Program guidelines and other information will be available on the department’s website on April 1.

“The National Farmers Union in New Brunswick is encouraged by the launch of the Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program, which will help to ensure that marginal farmland and wetlands are maintained and protected, while farmers’ need to make a sustainable living is respected,” said Suzanne Fournier, the union’s executive director.

The province’s agricultural and agri-food sector reached a record $1.23 billion in farm cash receipts in 2023.

The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program is a $3.5 billion, five-year agreement between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to strengthen the competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector. 

The agreement includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and $2.5 billion that is cost-shared—60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially—for programs designed and delivered by provincial and territorial governments.

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