According to a recent survey, farmers are requesting changes to the two proposed models of seed royalty collection presented earlier this year by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA), the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), and the Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba (KAP), have taken the past three months to ask producers to take a survey regarding the proposed models.
The organizations received 1,136 responses with 53 per cent from Saskatchewan, 25 per cent from Alberta, 19 per cent from Manitoba, and 3 per cent from other provinces. According to the three organizations, the survey’s purpose was to:
- Gauge awareness of the consultations and the two models that have been presented;
- Measure satisfaction with how varieties are currently developed and funded;
- Gather opinions on the two options presented and determine if there is support for investigating other options; and,
- Seek input on the principles that should guide changes to how plant breeding is funded.
For the most part, many disagreed that the two proposed models should be pushed forward, and that there needs to be more information and suggestions. Those taking the survey were given descriptions from government consultation material to briefly describe the trailing contract royalty and end point royalty proposals.
Most knew about what two options have been presented with 80 per cent saying they were aware of the consultations on seed royalties/value creation. However, when asked to rate their familiarity with the proposed models, 13 per cent reported being unfamiliar with the end point royalty proposal, while 17 per cent were unfamiliar with the trailing contract royalty option.
The survey also found most were satisfied with how new crop varieties are developed and funded in Canada, see table below.
Currently consultations on the two proposed seed royalty structures are on hold. According to a news release, the results from this survey will be presented to the new federal agriculture minister, yet to be named, officially.
To view the full breakdown of the results, click here.
“We look forward to working with the federal government now that the election is complete to ensure that any new seed royalty structure is ultimately fair for farmers and producers as it would ultimately impact their bottom line the most. Plant breeding needs to be funded in a manner that is fair and driven by the interests of farmers.” – KAP president, Bill Campbell.
“What we heard from producers is that they are not in a position to absorb extra costs. As price-takers, farmers have little room in their margins for added expenditures. So there is little support for yet another expense to add our bottom lines.” -President of APAS, Todd Lewis.
“Producers are telling us loud and clear that they are not happy with either of the proposed models. Our outreach confirms that they don’t feel they’ve been sufficiently engaged in consultations to date. It’s our hope that AAFC will work to rectify this before any further decisions are made.” -AFA president, Lynn Jacobson.