Saint-Eustache, September 27 – Following the many farm closures on its territory, the Fédération de l'UPA Outaouais-Laurentides is reminding agricultural stakeholders of the need to find concrete, rapid and flexible solutions. Indeed, as we move into the harvest season, it would not be surprising to see the number of farms find themselves in a precarious financial situation. To preserve our agricultural expertise, but also our food sovereignty, the Federation is calling for greater flexibility and support, from both public and private institutions.
« The closure of Jardins de la Pinède last week is a symptom of an even bigger problem. Quebec agriculture is under pressure from all sides, and governments must be there to help our sector," says Stéphane Alary, President of the Fédération de l'UPA Outaouais-Laurentides.
The financial pressures of rising interest rates and inflation have taken their toll on growers. Without a doubt, the extreme weather of recent months has taken a heavy toll on crops, and traditional business support programs are no longer sufficient to meet demand. Public decision-makers must take this situation seriously and find solutions, in consultation with partners in the farming community, to curb closures and preserve farming expertise.
« The shortage of manpower and the exodus of expertise from public institutions like MAPAQ and FADQ is hurting the regions, especially as the budgets allocated to their operation continue to shrink. The agricultural sector must become a government priority. We feed the world three times a day," points out Stéphane Alary, President of the Fédération de l'UPA Outaouais-Laurentides.
At the same time, the Fédération de l'UPA Outaouais-Laurentides reminds agricultural producers in its territory that local union representatives are there to pass on the problems experienced in the field. We invite producers not to hesitate to contact them.