Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:19

Support for long-term water infrastructure to benefit producers and grow the industry

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On May 3, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced $65 million over five years for the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP).


“Our government is focused on helping create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for Saskatchewan’s hard-working producers,” said Ritz.  “I am pleased that Saskatchewan producers will continue to have access to this program as another tool in their toolbox to help build their operations and our overall economy.  Building farm and ranch water infrastructure is an important way to increase producer profitability and secure a safe future for provincial water supplies and our producers’ livelihoods.”
“Establishing a secure source of water is crucial to the long-term success of Saskatchewan’s farmers and ranchers,” Stewart said.  “This investment in long-term water infrastructure such as wells, dugouts, pipelines and irrigation infill, is essential to the future growth of Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry and our economy.”
FRWIP, which was first introduced in 2008, helps farmers, ranchers, First Nation bands, rural municipalities and irrigation districts develop long-term, reliable sources of water and the related infrastructure necessary to support their agriculture businesses.
Since 2008, more than $49 million in federal-provincial funding has been invested through FRWIP to help establish nearly 5,500 wells, dugouts and pipelines.  In addition, since 2007, the federal and provincial governments have provided $20 million for infill funding which has increased irrigation capacity by nearly 12,000 acres.
The program has now been enhanced to include a new component for Agricultural Business Development for intensive livestock and horticultural operations.  As well, value-added agricultural businesses and non-district irrigators are now eligible for funding.
“SARM appreciates the continuation of this investment in rural Saskatchewan,” SARM President David Marit said.  “We look forward to the development of many more community wells, on-farm wells and dugouts that will ensure a reliable source of water for the agriculture industry for years to come.”
“FRWIP has been a valuable program for livestock producers in Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan Stock Growers President Harold Martens said.  “Many wells, dugouts and pipelines have been developed and we thank the federal and provincial governments for continuing this program.”
“We appreciate the long-term commitment to develop more irrigated acres in Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association Chair Roger Pederson said.  “Irrigation not only adds value to farmers' and ranchers' bottom lines but it also contributes to the provincial economy as a whole.”
Funding for the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program is provided under the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 framework.  For more information, visit the Saskatchewan Agriculture website at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/GrowingForward2.

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