Canadian farmers need more market clout - report

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Canadian farmers are locked in a long-term income crisis and need governments to work harder to defend their interests, said a report by a Canadian parliamentarian that was released on Monday.

Farmers have made "negligible" income for the past 15 years and have relied on government aid and off-farm jobs, said Wayne Easter, parliamentary secretary to Canada's agriculture minister.

"The income crisis for family farms is not short term or cyclical. It is long term and systemic -- and it is global," Easter said in his report, which he presented to federal and provincial farm ministers last week.

Not including government payments, average income per farm has fallen from a peak of C$21,000 ($17,213) in the 1970s to C$6,400 in the 1980s, C$4,500 in the 1990s, and has averaged a loss of C$7,000 since 2000, the report said.

Easter met with more than 450 farmers this year to prepare the report.

Source: Metro
calendar icon 12 July 2005
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