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Northern Agriculture remains a priority and SIAP has recently completed a Human Resource Development Strategy for Northern Agriculture. Many commercial opportunities exist for further development.
SIAP Marketing has entered into a Joint-Venture (49%) with La Ronge Band to acquire La Ronge Industries. The joint-venture was also successful in its tender for the Mercer River lease. Indian ownership of the Wild Rice Industry is now 52%.
The grain industry has improved prices and many of our clients are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. In the past year, assistance directly from SIAP in excess of $850,000 was provided to 185 farmers. In addition, over $1 million of contributions was arranged from other sources.
The Indian 4-H Program have 1,200 members involved in poultry, gardening and swine projects. SIAP also sponsors an annual 4-H Camp and the new popular Indian Youth in Business Conference.
The long-term strategy to improve Indian productivity and returns continues to be training. In the past year, 138 short courses and workshops were held with 1,328 Indian farmers attending.
SIAP Marketing, a wholly owned subsidiary has been adequately capitalized and has recently opened a 6,000 square foot Distribution Centre in the U.S.
SILCO is making a major contribution to Indian farming. SILCO currently has made 184 direct loans for $2,314,534 and #'s & $'s Loan Guarantees. Losses to date have been 1%. SILCO has received additional Capitalization to continue to grow with its clientele.