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Island farmers and watershed groups form partnership

October 29, 2019  By PEI Dept. of Environment Water and Climate Change

A new committee is exploring ways to help Island farmers better handle farm-related environment issues, strengthen a core sector of the economy and help farm families build a strong future.

The PEI Agri Watershed Partnership (PEI-AWP) came together in the winter of 2019 when the PEI Federation of Agriculture approached the PEI Watershed Alliance to discuss working in partnership to encourage beneficial management practices.

“The farming community recognizes our role as stewards of the land and water and is very pleased to be a part of this initiative. We strongly believe in our shared goal of achieving higher sustainable farming practices that not only improve our rivers and streams, but keep farmers profitable at the same time,” said David Mol, president of the PEI Federation of Agriculture.

Together with the PEI Potato Board, this new PEI Agri Watershed Partnership will work to reduce and eliminate land-use-related fish kills; keep soil on the land and out of waterways; and develop an industry standard code of practice for agricultural cropping.

“All Island watershed groups seek to work co-operatively with farmers to help protect and improve our watersheds and support sustainable agricultural practices. We are very excited to partner with the Federation of Agriculture to promote and assist farmers in implementing effective solutions to the challenges we face,” said Mike Durant, chair of the Watershed Alliance.

Supported with $300,000 from the province, the committee will include representatives from the Departments of Environment, Water and Climate Change and Agriculture and Land.

The committee will meet regularly to work on these efforts until December 2020. Outcomes include a list of beneficial management practices, criteria for identifying on-farm high-risk environmental areas as well as the opportunity to pilot practices with farmers.

“Collaboration with our watershed partners provides an opportunity to discuss best management practices and build on sustainable activities already adopted by the agriculture industry,” said Bloyce Thompson, Minister of Agriculture and Land. “This partnership demonstrates a valuable relationship that can be built on in the future.”

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