11 December 1998
£350m in two years for Canada’s farms

CANADAS farmers – who have seen their incomes drop more than 70% against last years – are getting C$900 million (£350m) in aid over the next two years.

Intervention by provincial Governments could raise the total package to C$1.5bn.

The cash will not arrive in farmers pockets until next spring, when their incomes for the current year can be worked out. But they will be able to get bank credit in the meantime in the expectation of eventually receiving the aid.

Wheat and pig farmers have been particularly badly hit by plummeting prices. Canadian wheat receipts were down 40% from the year before in the third quarter, while pig revenues fell 26%.

Canada has blamed subsidies in the USA and Europe for much of the fall in wheat prices. US farmers are complaining about Canadian farmers dumping low-priced wheat and pigs into the USA.