Disaster assistance approved for potato producers
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
A disaster assistance program, made-up of funding from both the federal government and PEI's provincial government, has been approved and offers a new suite of Business Risk Management programs, which will help potato producers hit by wet weather in 2008.
October 1, 2008
Charlottetown, PEI -Potato producers affected by extreme wet weather conditions are eligible to receive up to $12.4 million in disaster assistance cost shared on a 60-40 basis between the federal and provincial governments.
The new suite of Business Risk Management programs offered by the federal, provincial and territorial governments is available to provide producers protection in dealing with the financial risks associated with farming, including weather related disasters. Participating producers can receive significant financial support under AgriInsurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest for production losses and declines in farm income. This additional assistance is provided under the AgriRecovery program which enables governments to address gaps not covered by these existing programs and respond quickly when a natural disaster hits.
"This program is in response to requests from the potato industry which is facing serious losses due to acreages which cannot be harvested and which face the risk of rot in storages," said Prince Edward Island Agriculture Minister Neil LeClair. "The program will help producers make timely decisions on the management of their crop."
Federal and provincial officials have indicated following visits to the affected areas that damage appears to be approximately 10 times more severe than in previous years. Placing potatoes in storage that have a high incidence of rot could place the entire storage at risk.
In order to reduce the risk to storages, disaster assistance will be provided to encourage producers to destroy affected areas of their fields. The assistance is aimed at complementing the existing production insurance program. More than 60 percent of the 2008 crop is covered by production insurance. Those with production insurance will receive Stage 2 assistance for all areas that are abandoned. All potato producers will be eligible for disaster assistance to destroy affected areas of their fields.
Mr. LeClair said that while he recognizes that other crops have suffered losses, it is anticipated that existing programs are expected to cover losses.
The assistance will be available immediately to producers. They can contact the Agriculture Insurance Corporation at 902-368-4842.