By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Editor, myWestman.ca
NEEPAWA, Man. — When the federal or provincial governments look at agriculture in the context of emissions and carbon taxes, it’s usually seen as a contributor. It’s true that agriculture is a consumer of fossil fuels — burned in tractors and combines or to heat greenhouses — but those in the industry also know that agriculture is on the other side of the equation. According to the 2016 Census of Agriculture, there were 159 million acres in agricultural production, giving farmers a huge role to play in activities like carbon sequestration and managing or mitigating the effects of more severe weather.
We haven’t seen the positive role the industry can play really talked about at the national level, until now. Earlier this month, a Canadian Senate report was released, called “Feast or Famine.” The 11 senators who formed the committee studied how Canada’s efforts to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target might affect the country’s agriculture, agri-food and forestry sectors. The final report included 16 recommendations.