RMP funding cap in Ontario limits program uptake, study suggests

The Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition (OASC) has released a new study that looked at the impact of the province’s risk management program (RMP and self-directed risk management program (SDRM) have on Ontario farms, farm production, and the Ontario economy.

OASC is comprised of the Beef Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Sheep Farmers, and the Veal Farmers of Ontario. The coalition was formed in 2009 to develop and implement the Risk Management Program (RMP) in Ontario at the request of the Government of Ontario.

The study found that there is a significant return to the dollars spent on RMP/SDRM. Every dollar spent results in a $2.01 to $3.60 return on investment. In 2020, this led to an increase in economic output of between $282.6 million and $506.2 million.

More than 95 per cent of participating farmers agree that not having access to this program would negatively impact their farm operations.

While young and beginning farmers said the program was especially beneficial, on average for the 2016 to 2020 years, program funding only covered 40.4 per cent of calculated insurance benefits for participating. That’s due to the program funding being capped.

Despite an increase from $100 million to $150 million by the province, uncapped payments exceeded this value, prorated the value farmers received. The coalition says this suggests that adoption of the RMP/SDRM program would be higher if more funds were available.

“The results of this study not only confirm the positive impact this important program has on farmers, farm production and economic activity for the province, it also provides strong data to support to OASC’s call on the Ontario government to increase its investment into this critical program,” says grain farmer and OASC Chair, Brendan Byrne.

The coalition adds that the study findings come at an important time as many farm sectors struggle to manage the impact of inflationary pressures on the price of farm inputs, debt servicing costs due to rising interest rates, and supply chain disruptions due to ongoing pandemic issues, labour shortages and international conflicts.

The full report, entitled, “Evaluation of the Impact of the Risk Management Program/Self-Directed Risk Management Program on Ontario Farmers and the Economy,” was undertaken by Harry Cummings and Associates and Agri-Metrics Consulting. You can read it here.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture