Parts of the funding will go toward land development, assisting new farmers and creating regional vegetable cold storage facilities.
July 3, 2020 By Fruit and Vegetable
Newfoundland and Labrador will invest nearly $13 million in funding to create jobs in the agriculture sector and assist farmers and producers.
The funding is part of a plan to support employment in rural communities and help open new markets and products for renewable resource-based businesses during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“This plan will enhance measures already in place to support food self-sufficiency,” said Premier Dwight Ball. “Whether it is helping commercial farmers diversify their crops, making more Crown land available and accessible for farming, or conducting innovative crop research and enhancing local beef production, we are committed to supporting Newfoundland and Labrador’s agriculture sector well into the future.”
The $13 million will be allocated across programs, including:
- $3.5 million to increase local beef production and determine support for local secondary beef processing facilities;
- $2.75 million for land development to increase large-scale potato production;
- $1.5 million for regional equipment banks to assist new farming entrants;
- $1.4 million for road construction to improve access to agricultural Areas of Interest;
- $1.25 million to support proposals for regional vegetable cold storage facilities;
- $1 million to construct a greenhouse complex at the Western Agriculture Centre Research Station at Pynn’s Brook;
- $1.01 million for critical equipment at the Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Development at Wooddale to expand activities to support the agriculture sector;
- $300,000 for training and supports for the beekeeping industry; and
- $100,000 to support agricultural virtual market opportunities.
Funding for these initiatives is expected to generate at least 250 seasonal and permanent jobs in the agriculture sector. Newfoundland and Labrador’s agriculture industry, including secondary processing, is valued at $500 million and employs more than 5,000 people, according to the government’s release.
“With access to safe, healthy food on everyone’s minds, Newfoundland and Labrador’s agriculture sector is navigating through challenging times,” said Gerry Byrne, minister of fisheries and land resources. “These innovative, practical initiatives address real needs in the agriculture sector – the need for regional equipment banks so farmers can borrow tools and machinery, new roads to provide easier access to agricultural land, and vegetable cold storage and red-meat processing facilities to help increase markets and profits. With a new growing season upon us, I’m pleased to offer a suite of initiatives tailor-made to support and advance our province’s agriculture sector.”
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