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Moving the bar to manage risk in Alberta

 
  From the August 20, 2018 issue of Agri-News
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 Managing risk will become a little easier with the support of a suite of programs soon to be launched in Alberta under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership).

During consultations, stakeholders said they wanted these new programs to build on what has already been accomplished with past programs, and they also approved the programs’ concepts. The programs in the Risk Management theme are now ready to be delivered.

The Partnership will soon be opening Risk Management programs that will focus on building industry’s capacity to anticipate, prepare, and mitigate risks that could affect food safety, plant health, animal health, water conveyance, farm safety and humane slaughter.

“Investment in this area is important,” says Jake Kotowich, executive director of the Crop Health and Assurance Branch with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF). “Proactively preparing and managing risks before an event occurs can go a long way in reducing the impact of a disease or threat and the associated costs.”

The three Alberta programs - Risk Mitigation, Emergency Preparedness, and Surveillance – have been built to “move the bar” in managing risk, as the benefits of these programs will be felt across the whole agriculture value chain in Alberta.

Reducing the impact

“Increasingly complex and continuously changing risks have the potential to negatively impact agricultural industries,” says Allan Pelletier, director of Livestock Traceability with AF. “The Risk Mitigation program will support projects that help to protect and safeguard Alberta’s animal and plant resources, farm families and workers, food supply, and irrigation infrastructure.”

Activities can include educational programs built around a culture of safety on Alberta farms and ranches, risk identification, and studies to develop solutions and tools to support and enhance sustainable water management. Investigating and developing solutions to mitigate the impact of pests on plant production, initiatives and training to advance biosecurity and traceability best practices, and projects to advance safe and humane slaughter at licensed meat facilities are included.

Eligible applicants for this program may include agri-processors, industry associations, municipalities, irrigation districts or managers of irrigation conveyance works, licensed meat facilities, farm service providers, and livestock intermediary sites.

The Emergency Preparedness program aims to strengthen the ability and capacity of industry and regional authorities to prepare for and respond effectively to emergency situations. Activities will include development or updating an emergency preparedness plan, conducting exercises to test and validate an emergency preparedness plan, and developing/delivering emergency preparedness training.

“Emergency preparedness in Alberta agricultural communities and industries is critical so this program and help to improve the capacity to respond effectively to emergency situations and increase collaboration between government and partners,” says Brad Andres, director of Emergency Management Services with AF.

Eligible applicants may include rural communities and municipalities, industry associations, and irrigation districts or managers of irrigation conveyance works.

The Surveillance program aims to increase the early detection of existing and emerging diseases - in livestock, bees, and crops - pests, foodborne hazards, and other risks affecting plant, animal and public health. Activities will include the development of surveillance initiatives, data collection, lab testing/analysis and sharing of information into surveillance networks and databases.

“This program will help to close the gaps in surveillance in order to increase early detection of existing and emerging diseases, pests and foodborne hazards,” says Drew Hiltz, manager of Animal Health Programs Unit with AF.

Eligible applicants may include industry organizations, rural municipalities, agricultural processors, post-secondary institutions, applied research associations, and fee for service providers.

Be notified when the programs are ready to launch by subscribing to receive program announcements which can be found on cap.alberta.ca. This website will also contain program details and application information. Contact the Alberta Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276) for more information.

Contact:
CAP.Alberta@gov.ab.ca

 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Amanda Van Delden.
This document is maintained by Christine Chomiak.
This information published to the web on August 10, 2018.