At the opening ceremonies of Canada’s Farm Progress Show, Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced a new $1 million International Market Development Program.
“Saskatchewan provides safe, reliable agriculture products and some of the most innovative farm equipment to the world,” Stewart said. “Increasing international market access for our products continues to be a priority for our government. This program will help to expand these opportunities and ensure agriculture continues to play a vital role in our growing provincial economy.”
The International Market Development Program is designed to help industry establish, maintain and expand international market presence; increase the number and value of trade missions coming in to Saskatchewan; and open, protect and expand market access for Saskatchewan products.
The program is open to Saskatchewan businesses, industry, organizations and agriculture shows such as the Farm Progress Show. Approved applicants can receive funding for up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, to a maximum of $100,000 per applicant. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2013.
Applicants can access funding for expenses, including travel to international trade shows or export missions, bringing interested buyers to Saskatchewan, production of marketing material, advertising and translation services.
In 2011, for the first time ever, Saskatchewan exceeded $10 billion in agri-food exports and has surpassed Ontario as the top agri-food exporting province in Canada. In the last five years, Saskatchewan agriculture exports have increased by $3.8 billion, or nearly 60 per cent. Pulse crop exports now total nearly $1.85 billion and canola seed exports have increased by 150 per cent from $856 million in 2007 to more than $2.1 billion in 2011.
For more information on the program, visit the Saskatchewan Agriculture website at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca.