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Millions invested in Nova Scotia for sustainable agriculture

Aug. 10, 2012 - Nova Scotia's agricultural industry is getting support to make it more innovative and sustainable.

A federal and provincial investment of $5.6 million will support three projects: a green energy facility; a centre for agricultural innovation; and developing grass-fed beef as a specialty product.

"Across the province, our agricultural industry contributes to vibrant communities and economies, and produces quality food for Nova Scotians," said Agriculture Minister John MacDonell. "By investing in these projects, we are demonstrating our commitment to help the industry grow through innovative and sustainable practices."

AgriFlxibility is a five-year initiative designed to enhance the competitiveness of the agriculture sector. The provincial government contributes 40 per cent of the initiative's funding in Nova Scotia, and the federal government contributes 60 per cent.

"The government of Canada is committed to helping farmers find new markets, adapt to current economic challenges and to make their businesses more efficient to boost our economy today and for the long term," said federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "These Economic Action Plan investments will grow Nova Scotia's and the Atlantic region's agricultural innovation and increase their capacity for long-term prosperity."

West Nova Agro-Commodities Ltd. in Lawrencetown is using $1.3 million to build a small-scale grass pellet and briquette plant owned by local farmers and landowners in Annapolis County. It will serve as an example of how similar operations can be established around the province.

"This plant will source local hay, process it locally, and supply local markets," said Jonathan McClelland, the company's manager. "This initiative has the ability to create new markets for many small and medium-sized farms while providing an affordable heating fuel to customers without the volatility associated with petroleum based fuels."

A $2.2-million project to develop grass-fed beef as a specialty product will help build a competitive, sustainable and profitable cattle industry in the province.

The Perennia Innovation Centre in Truro is being established with $2.1 million. It is an incubator for businesses that turn agricultural ingredients into other products, such extracting the natural colouring of a plant for use in paint. It also provides advice and access to lab facilities for non-tenants.

August 10, 2012  By Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture


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