News Release Archive


Agricultural and Marketing Minister Guy Brown today announced an
eight-point strategy for the beef industry, which is experiencing
its lowest prices in 20 years.

Last spring a Net Income Stabilization Account (NISA) based
program was announced with a commitment of $400,000 to help beef
producers. With this provincial commitment to the beef deposit
assistance program another $400,000 is levered from the
provincial and federal governments plus an additional $200,000
going to other programs for a commitment of $1 million from the
provincial and federal governments.

NISA is a voluntary farm income insurance program which is
intended to have a stabilizing effect on farm incomes while
remaining responsive to market needs.

The participation in the beef NISA program, however, has been low
to date based on a number of factors. In particular the industry
is saying that they lack the funds to contribute the producer
share to the program. In addition, there are marketing and
production issues that need to be addressed for future
development and stability in the industry.

"Responding to both the analysis of the industry situation and
concerns presented at annual commodity meetings and the Nova
Scotia Federation of Agriculture and follow-up meetings with
industry, I am pleased to be making this announcement today,"
said Mr. Brown.

"This strategy reflects the government's commitment to increasing
stability in the agri-food industry through a NISA-based program.
The strategy also encourages increased participation by beef
producers in NISA and a commitment to address production and
marketing challenges  necessary for the future of the beef
industry in Nova Scotia," he said.

The eight-point strategy consists of the province funding the
producers' contribution to NISA for the 1995 stabilization year. 
For those producers who have paid already they will receive a
rebate for their contributions.

A communication network will be immediately put in place to
contact beef producers about this strategy stressing the
importance of having their NISA applications in before Dec. 31,
1996. Financial counselling and other services of the Farm Loan
Board, to identify possible approaches and solutions, will be
available on a one on one basis to beef producers.

With industry support, the Department of Agriculture and
Marketing will appoint an industry and stakeholders task force
consisting of producers, processors, retailers and consumers to
develop a coordinated strategy on the future of the beef industry
for Nova Scotia.

Forming a tri-partnership, the beef industry, the Nova Scotia
Federation of Agriculture and government will secure appropriate
resources and analysis and will investigate the possibility of
special pilot projects, as part of the task force initiative, for
sound decision making.

An enhanced partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, the department and industry
at the Nappan Research Station will be developed, through
research, aimed at technology development and improvements to
benefit the industry.

A province-wide extension program will also be developed and
delivered, focusing on cattle nutrition and feeding management
systems, and the improved sire program will be maintained for the
continued enhancement of herds through performance tested stock.

This strategy, the minister said, is the result of dialogue,
commitment, cooperation and partnership with industry. At the
same time, he said, this strategy is consistent with the
government's commitment to NISA-based programs and the need to
partner with industry to find solutions.


Contact: Brian Smith  902-893-6591

trp                       Dec. 18, 1996 - 2:35 p.m.