Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced $65 million over five years for the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) on Friday.

“Establishing a secure source of water is crucial to the long-term success of Saskatchewan’s farmers and ranchers,” Stewart said in a release.  “This investment in long-term water infrastructure such as wells, dugouts, pipelines and irrigation infill, is essential to the future growth of Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry and our economy.”

FRWIP, which was first introduced in 2008, helps farmers, ranchers, First Nation bands, rural municipalities and irrigation districts develop long-term, reliable sources of water and the related infrastructure necessary to support their agriculture businesses.

Since 2008, more than $49 million in federal-provincial funding has been invested through FRWIP to help establish nearly 5,500 wells, dugouts and pipelines. In addition, since 2007, the federal and provincial governments have provided $20 million for infill funding which has increased irrigation capacity by nearly 12,000 acres. The program has now been enhanced to include a new component for Agricultural Business Development for intensive livestock and horticultural operations. As well, value-added agricultural businesses and non-district irrigators are now eligible for funding.

Funding for the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program is provided under the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 framework.

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