“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.