Farm Credit Canada is receiving a $5-billion lending increase. (File)

COVID-19: Help for agriculture industry as Farm Credit Canada receives $5B increase

The increase will give the agriculture industry more flexibility to tackle coming challenges

Government help is on the way for the agriculture industry through challenging times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marie Claude Bibeau, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced Farm Credit Canada (FCC) received a $5-billion increase in lending capacity from the federal government.

“Like many Canadians, I am truly grateful for our farmers and food business owners and employees, who continue working hard so we all have quality food on our grocery store shelves and kitchen tables. Their continued work is essential to our plan to manage COVID-19,” Minister Bibeau said. “The measures announced today will provide farmers and food producers across the country with important financial flexibility they will need during these challenging times.”

Bibeau’s announcement followed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors continue to have access to capital through this unprecedented event.

“Farmers and producers work hard to put food on tables across our country, and they should not have to worry about being able to afford their loan payments or having enough money to support their own families,” said Trudeau. “We are taking action now to give them more flexibility to meet the challenges ahead.”

The FCC’s president and CEO, Michael Hoffort, said agriculture industry workers and businesses who are feeling the pressure of these uncertain times —producers concerned about having the cash flow required to plant crops or food processors feeling the impact of a lost sale due to the financial downturn — can turn to the FCC for assistance.

“It’s in times like these that we are reminded how important Canadian producers and food processors are to our nation and to feeding the world,” said Hoffort.

He added the FCC is using its resources to find solutions that give the industry its best chance at recovery going forward, saying that strong collaboration between banks, credit unions, FCC and other financial institutions is needed to support the industry.

The FCC is also asking customers who have financial concerns to contact them to discuss alternatives, such as loan payment deferrals and products available to assist with cash flow needs.

“Each business’s financial situation is unique, so there may be a combination of options considered,” Hoffort said. “The bottom line is that FCC is being supported by our shareholder to play a bigger role in supporting the success of the Canadian agriculture and food industry across Canada. The sooner we can discuss potential challenges, the more options we have.”

Customers experiencing financial issues are asked to contact their FCC relationship manager or the FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301.

READ MORE: Canadian IOC member Dick Pound expects Olympic postponement

READ MORE: B.C. reports 3 new COVID-19 deaths, as number of cases rises to 472


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusFarming

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Town of Oliver gives residents tax breaks, 50 per cent off first quarter utility fees

Mayor encourages residents to invest money back into the community if possible

Cougar caught on camera in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident caught a cougar prowling near their home

Dry March causes modest increases to Okanagan snowpack

The Okanagan region increased from 115 per cent of normal snowpack to 116 per cent

Summerland winery sold for $5.2 million

Property overlooking Okanagan Lake was on the market 160 days

City of Penticton launches emergency survey on financial impacts of COVID-19

Survey aims to give the City an idea of how to move ahead with relief and recovery measures

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Smiles, honks and waves as teachers stage parade for their students

Classrooms are closed, but kids and teachers manage to connect

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

COVID-19: B.C. students describe life during pandemic

Most teens wonder what the future will be like after COVID-19

COLUMN: Local journalism more important than ever before

Response to recent farm worker situation was concerning

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

Most Read