Beef industry getting shot in the arm; province introduces new program

Jason Malloy
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TRURO - Nova Scotia's hurting beef industry is getting some short-term assistance as it tries to weather the storm associated with a deprecated market.
The province announced a $2-million program on Monday to enable beef farmers to pay down loan interest from 2009 to 2011.
"This program is needed, it's required," said David Oulton, president of the Nova Scotia Cattle Producers.
"Our producers are looking forward to it. Some people will be able to take advantage, some won't. Is it the answer - the be-all, end-all? No."
The program will likely require some farmers to refinance existing credit limits in order to take advantage of the program. But some farmers' debt load is already too high and will not be able to access the new funding.
"I've spoken with a number of farmers who have reached the point of being scared to answer the phone because of collection agencies," said Liberal agriculture critic Leo Glavine.
He is calling on the government to implement recommendations from the Kelco report that was prepared a few years ago for government. He said only 10 per cent of beef found in Nova Scotia stores is raised in the province and during the past seven years the number of farmers has dropped from 1,400 to 700.
Oulton said he has heard "mixed" reactions from his members but said it is pleased to receive funding given the demands on the province's finances.
"We welcome anything that can be brought forward," he said. "This is a start."
The cattle producers have a long-term plan for their industry and have been talking with the province since the summer about funding.
The program will be administered by the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. Details can be obtained on its website at http://www.nsfa-fane.ca/programs_and_projects or by phoning 893-2293.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Cattle Producers, Kelco, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Farmers Sweetie
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    The real farmers must be alarmed!

  • mike
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    yea...i need a loan too,for my car and my house,and i buy LOCAL