TORONTO, Ontario – Ontario farmers are getting help from the government of Canada to boost sales and enhance competitiveness abroad with investments with funding of more than $1 million (US$980,000). Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food, made the announcement on Nov. 10 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

The investments include $650,000 (US$638,043) to support traceability initiatives in Ontario's livestock sector, $250,000 (US$245,401) for poultry and wheat farmers to increase their exports and $150,000 (US$147,241) through the AgriMarketing Program to promote the fair internationally and establish the International Business Centre.

The Chicken Farmers of Ontario is receiving $120,000 (US$117,793) through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program to enhance the readiness of Ontario's poultry farmers to contain any potential disease outbreak.

So far Canada’s government has committed $650,000 (US$638,043) under the Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative (LATI) toward 29 projects in Ontario that help the livestock sector become more competitive in international markets by supporting traceability capabilities. Implementing a traceability system will greatly benefit Canadian farmers by enhancing Canada's ability to support animal health management, food safety and international market access, Lemieux said.

"The government of Canada is making strategic investments in Ontario's livestock and grain sectors to improve their competitiveness in foreign markets," he added.