Manitoba increases young farmer rebate
March 25, 2019 By Manitoba Government (edited)
The province of Manitoba has taken steps to encourage agricultural involvement among the younger generation.
Partnering with the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), the Manitoba government is increasing the maximum eligible amount for the Young Farmer Rebate program from $150,000 to $200,000, effective April 1.
The program provides an annual rebate of up to two per cent on the principal of a loan from MASC for up to five years. As a result of the change, the lifetime maximum rebate will also increase, from $15,000 to $20,000.
“One of our government’s priorities is to increase the number of young people in the agriculture industry,” says provincial agriculture minister Ralph Eichler. “Increasing the young farmer rebate supports our focus on young producers by reducing the cost of borrowing while they grow their operations.”
Recent census data shows the average age of a Manitoba producer is over 53. In consultation with stakeholders, industry groups and young producers, it was noted that assistance for young farmers is necessary, given rising costs and changes in farm economics over the past decade.
“Agriculture is the backbone of Manitoba’s rural economy, and young farmers are the future of the industry’s growth,” said Jared Munro, president and CEO of MASC. “This enhancement to the Young Farmer Rebate program is expected to provide an additional $500,000 in interest reductions next fiscal year.”
MASC designs and administers lending and insurance programs targeted at young and beginning farmers. As farms consolidate and barriers to entry increase, MASC is enhancing its programs, with a target that 75 per cent of new loan approvals be for young farmers.
The young farmer rebate program is part of MASC’s Bridging Generations Initiative, which provides producers under the age of 40 with financial incentives and customized terms and repayment options. From 2017 to 2018, MASC issued 815 direct loans under the Young Farmer Rebate program. Other measures geared at young producers include higher percentages of available financing for large purchases and the ability to make interest-only payments for the first five years of a loan.
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