Ontario is proposing amendments to the Crop Insurance Act, 1996, that, if passed, would mean more types of agricultural products would be eligible for coverage by production insurance.
Production insurance, a part of Ontario’s business risk management programs, is designed to help farmers manage losses due to events like weather, pests and disease. The costs of these programs are predictable, stable and shared by producers and the provincial and federal governments, says the Ontario government.
Currently, production insurance is available for almost 90 commercially grown crops, including grains, oilseeds and certain fruits and vegetables. However, Ontario is the only province in Canada without the authority to expand production insurance beyond crops to the broader agricultural sector.
If passed, the proposed Agriculture Insurance Act would give Ontario the authority to expand insurance to support the agri-food industry in the event of unexpected loss of production for agriculture products, including, possibly livestock and more horticulture products.
The ministry says expanding the number of products eligible for production insurance and strengthening the agri-food industry is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario.
Jeff Leal, minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says, “This proposed legislation would, if passed, help meet the needs of our farmers and bring Ontario in line with the rest of Canada. Giving more producers the opportunity to access production insurance will help them better manage risk and encourage greater innovation, profitability and job creation in the agri-food sector.”