The start of the New Year tends to bring a feeling of hope and optimism.
Provincial Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart says there’s a lot of work on the table from the continuing pasture transition to research and the new Business Risk Management Programs.
He notes one of the key areas of focus for 2016 will be around finalizing trade agreements with the EU and TPP.
“I’d have to say particularly the Trans Pacific Partnership. This is a region of 800 million consumers who really need the things we produce in Western Canada, and 800 million consumers whose standard of living has been rapidly increasing every year to the point where they afford to buy the things we produce and export.”
The beginning of the New Year also brings new regulations as to who can own farmland in Saskatchewan, as amendments to the Saskatchewan Farm Security Act come into effect today.
Stewart outlines the key changes.
“Investment trusts and pension funds are specified as not being elegible to own Saskatchewan farmland in the new Act. Of course, foreign ownership is not allowed as always. Any financing of transactions is required by the Act to be through Canadian financial institutions or Canadian individuals.”
The new legislation also gives The Farm Land Security Board the tools it needs to enforce the rules.
He notes it reflects the overall views of Saskatchewan residents who took part in last year’s Farm Land Consultation process.