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Newfoundland and Labrador invest $13 million in agriculture sector


July 9, 2020
By Top Crop Manager

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On June 19, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball and Gerry Byrne, minister of fisheries and land resources, announced 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.

“Newfoundland and Labrador’s agriculture industry, including secondary processing, is valued at $500 million and employs more than 5,000 people,” Ball said. “This plan will enhance measures already in place to support food self-sufficiency.

“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,” he concluded.

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Ball and Byrne announced the funding at the Western Agriculture Centre Research Station at Pynn’s Brook, the site of ongoing academic research and education aimed at improving food self-sufficiency in the province.

Initiatives announced include:

  • $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.

“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,” Byrne said.

Funding for these initiatives is expected to generate at least 250 seasonal and permanent jobs in the agriculture sector.