Mr. Speaker, farmers in Ontario have begun a campaign called “Farmers Feed Cities”. They want to increase awareness that agriculture contributes to the health and well-being of Ontarians and the province's economy by providing safe and healthy food.
Agriculture is a key component of Ontario's economy as it provides jobs for more than 650,000 people. Trade in agricultural products contributes approximately $30 billion to the province. The industry also helps to feed the 12 million plus people living in the province.
However, Ontario agriculture continues to suffer an income crisis due to international subsidies, border closures, corporate concentration, rising costs and commodity dumping.
Farmers continue to negotiate terms of new risk management and production insurance programs for Ontario, however, if the implementation of the proposed programs is to become a reality, the federal government will become a necessary partner. I encourage the federal government to work with the province to find solutions to the problems that face farmers today.
Agriculture is a fundamental component of our society which we cannot afford to lose. Remember, “If you ate today, thank a farmer”.