Ontario Providing Support for Ginseng Farmers

Ontario Providing Support for Ginseng Farmers

Province creates pilot loan guarantee program to support ginseng growers

March 11, 2022

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

BRANTFORD — The Ontario government is supporting the creation of an industry-led pilot loan guarantee program to assist the province’s ginseng farmers in sustaining and growing their business.

“The ginseng industry is an important part of the agri-foods sector in Ontario, and the development of this programming is the result of months of discussions with our ginseng farmers about how we can help them given their unique growing cycle,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The new Ginseng Storage Loan Guarantee Pilot Program will help stabilize and strengthen ginseng operations, ensure their long-term economic viability and growth, and provide a boost for the communities where they grow this world-renowned crop.”

The $130 million, three-year commitment to back the Ginseng Storage Loan Guarantee Pilot Program enables participating farmers to borrow up to $1 million against the value of their stored crops with the government guaranteeing up to 25 per cent of any loan portion that cannot be repaid.

This financing will help farmers make investments to sustain and grow their business, and to cover operational costs during a challenging period in which the sector has seen its cash receipts decrease from $271.5 million in 2015 to $131.9, in 2020. This support comes following a difficult time where ginseng producers have been impacted by unfavorable weather conditions, trade barriers, COVID-19 and other factors that presented a unique set of challenges.

The program will launch on April 1, 2022, and will be delivered and financed by the Agricultural Credit Corporation which also delivers the Commodity Loan Guarantee Program.

Supporting this pilot program adds to the variety of actions the government has taken to assist Ontario’s farmers and to increase their capacity to manage business risks that are beyond their control. Ontario increased the share of compensation that the province pays to qualified farmers enrolled in the federal-provincial-territorial AgriStability program along with the removal of the Reference Margin Limit feature of this program.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is the leading producer of ginseng in North America.
  • 98 per cent of ginseng farming operators are in Southwestern Ontario – with three counties having the largest concentrations of farms: Norfolk County (65 per cent); Brant County (24 per cent) and Oxford County (five per cent).
  • Ontario’s agricultural loan guarantee programs are industry-delivered and have safeguards to minimize the risk of a guarantee claim.
  • The Agricultural Credit Corporation (ACC) is a not-for-profit organization that also administers the federal Advance Payments Program and the provincial Commodity Loan Program to farmers


“Canada and Haldimand – Norfolk are home to some of the world’s highest quality ginseng, with roughly 150 area growers producing a safe and premier product. Kudos to the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association for their longstanding and professional approach to keeping our industry healthy.”

– Toby Barrett
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“Agriculture is the single largest economic sector in Brantford – Brant. I am so pleased to be a part of a government that recognizes this reality while appreciating and understanding the complexities and uniqueness of ginseng farming. Ontario-grown ginseng is world-renowned and this announcement will only strengthen the sector.”

– Will Bouma
MPP for Brantford – Brant

“I have heard consistently from ginseng farmers in Oxford that greater supports are needed to help stabilize and grow their businesses. The creation of the Ginseng Storage Loan Guarantee Pilot Program is a significant step forward by our government to address recent challenges and invest in the future success of ginseng farmers in Oxford and throughout Ontario.”

– Ernie Hardeman
MPP for Oxford

“Ontario Ginseng Growers Association members are the world’s leader in the production of the most desirable, premium quality North American ginseng. But over the past few years our producers have been hit by significant challenges in our primary market in China along with challenges from COVID-19. In the face of these challenges, the new Ginseng Storage Loan Guarantee Pilot Program will go a long way toward providing support to addressing these hurdles. We want to thank the provincial government for its responsiveness to our concerns. Minister Thompson has worked hard with the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association to design a program that will assist our members.”

– Glen Gilvesy
Chair of the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association

Related Topics

Rural and North

Information about the province’s Far North and rural communities. Get connected to business improvement organizations and learn more about funding and programs that support rural, northern and Indigenous communities. Learn more