Federal government boosts loans for canola farmers amid tensions with China

The federal government is rolling out changes to a payment program for canola farmers to help those affected by China's decision to ban the Canadian product.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says the maximum loan limit through the program will be boosted to $1 million from $400,000, and the portion that will be interest free is rising to $500,000 from $100,000.

The government's announcement comes after China barred Canadian canola from two of the country's biggest exporters in what is considered retaliation for the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

China imported $2.7 billion worth of Canadian canola seed last year, which ensures any prolonged blockage will hurt farmers, the industry and the broader economy.

Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr says he will lead a canola trade mission to Japan and South Korea in early June to help farmer find new markets for their product.

He also says he will be promoting canola in all of his upcoming visits, including in France.