he governments of Canada and Manitoba are announcing the launch of Manitoba’s new online Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) platform, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson announced today.
“Canadian agriculture’s long-term sustainability depends on its ability to adapt to emerging climate conditions,” said Bibeau. “Manitoba’s new online Environmental Farm Plan allows producers greater access to resources, so they can prioritize best management practices that make the greatest impact on their farm.”
In 2020, the governments of Canada and Manitoba invested $990,000 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership in a three-year contribution agreement with Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) to develop the online EFP platform.
The EFP is a voluntary, confidential self-assessment of a producer’s farm. The purpose of the EFP is to assess the features and management practices of a farm in order to develop an action plan to mitigate identified risks.
“Our government is committed to supporting sustainable agriculture production practices such as sustainable water strategies and climate change mitigation activities,” said Johnson. “The EFP is a valuable and proactive risk management tool. It includes a strong educational component that will continue to provide positive environmental outcomes while enabling the province to meet its goals for enhancing public trust in the agricultural sector.”
The new online version of the EFP is modern, efficient and easy for producers to use and is designed with leading-edge cybersecurity and privacy policies to ensure data is always protected. Online tutorials are available to guide producers through the process. The system has updated and streamlined content and several features that allow producers to customize EFP workbooks to specific farm operations. Once a workbook is complete, producers can submit it for third-party review by KAP reviewers.
The online platform integrates national and international sustainable sourcing standards that will allow producers to address market requirements for specific commodity groups. This integration adds value to the Manitoba EFP and reduces the burden for producers, noted Johnson.
“KAP is pleased to have worked with both levels of government on delivering a tool that producers can confidently and easily use as they work to more easily employ sustainable farming practices in their operations,” said Bill Campbell, president, Keystone Agricultural Producers. “This new platform will help increase the accessibility of the EFP program for Manitoba producers and sends a strong signal to consumers about the efforts taken to deliver sustainably grown agricultural products to the marketplace.”
A completed EFP is required for farms participating in most agri-environmental cost-shared programming, which directly supports initiatives of the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan by enhancing the resilience and sustainability of the agricultural sector.
Johnson noted that by implementing an EFP, producers are able to improve air, water and soil quality, conserve biodiversity on Manitoba farmland, contribute to environmental protection and conservation, and make Manitoba-grown commodities more marketable to environmentally conscious consumers.
More information on the EFP and a link to the online EFP portal can be found at www.ManitobaEFP.ca.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.
Source: Manitoba government