Agriculture is crucial during COVID-19 crisis: APAS

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is calling attention to the role Canadian agriculture should have during the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Saskatchewan farmers are not shutting down,” said APAS President and farmer Todd Lewis. “Farm families are hard at work every day to ensure a stable supply of quality food for Canadian and international customers. People around the world will continue to rely on our products and we will continue to operate while other sectors slow down. However, as an industry that supports one in every eight Canadian jobs, farmers need assistance from governments and industry partners to make sure we can continue to do our jobs.”

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Lewis pointed out that producers are facing considerable uncertainty about cash flow heading into spring seeding.

“Our members are about to invest billions of dollars into this year’s crop, and recent weather, trade and transportation disruptions have stretched our financial capacity to the limit. We need the government and financial industry to assist us to make that investment possible,” Lewis explained, welcoming the federal government’s announcement of relaxation of regulations on financial institutions to increase liquidity. Banks and credit unions should work with producers on cash flow issues, according to the APAS.

Lewis said producers are facing considerable uncertainty about cash flow heading into spring seeding. “Our members are about to invest billions of dollars into this year’s crop and recent weather, trade and transportation disruptions have stretched our financial capacity to the limit. We need the government and financial industry to assist us to make that investment possible,” Lewis explained. 


Healso discussed the many employment opportunities which will be available in agriculture this year.

“Many producers have relied on international seasonal labour to do essential work on Canadian farms, but it appears that workers may not be available this season due to border closures. People that have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis need to be connected to agricultural work that urgently needs to be done. APAS and other agricultural groups need to engage with everyone that can help connect potential workers with employment opportunities.”

Lewis concluded by saying APAS is also focused on supply chain issues in transportation and food processing.

“Whether it is transport of products to export markets, or availability of farm inputs or processing capacity, Canadian farmers depend on a fully functional transportation and supply chain. For the sake of maintaining a stable food supply globally, we all have to ensure there are no further disruptions to Canadian agriculture.”