The federal and provincial governments plan to defer collection of interest on CAIS overpayments until Dec. 31, 2008 as part of their support plan for the livestock sector.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced the measure Wednesday as one of a list of alterations to help livestock producers quicker access to cash from various existing government programs.
The deferral of interest owed by farmers on overpayments made to them through the CAIS (Canadian Ag Income Stabilization) program applies in all provinces except Quebec. It also applies to eligible producers in the Yukon.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in a later release Dec. 21 that the move would benefit about 8,200 farmers who still have to repay CAIS funds.
The announcement came with some more details on other measures to be made available either in the near future or sometime in 2008, as Ritz announced last week, including:
- proposals to accelerate funds available to livestock producers through the new AgriStability and AgriInvest programs;
- up to $1 billion in additional loans made available through changes to the Advance Payments Program; and
- access to Kickstart, the $600 million transition program to kick-start producers’ AgriInvest accounts.
Producers can contact the AgriStability office for more information on AgriStability, interim payments and target advances in provinces where available. Farmers in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec or P.E.I., where AgriStability and related programs will be delivered provincially, can contact the provincial agency delivering those programs.