The Governments of Canada and New Brunswick are investing $7.7 million to drive innovation and opportunity for New Brunswick farmers.
“We know that farmers are key to Canada's economic recovery and we're proud to partner with New Brunswick to strengthen agriculture in this province,” said Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This initiative will create more profitable farms and a thriving agricultural sector built on innovation.”
“I am very proud of the work our two levels of government have accomplished for the benefit of the agriculture industry in New Brunswick,” said Ronald Ouellette, Minister of Agriculture and Aquaculture of New Brunswick. “The funding announced today will further support the industry by assisting our farmers in addressing production efficiencies, capturing new opportunities and enhancing profitability. With our federal partner and the agricultural stakeholders of New Brunswick, we will continue to invest in our industry and address some of the targeted needs within the sector.”
The $7.7-million, four-year Canada/New Brunswick Agriculture Futures Initiative will expand agriculture in the province with new crops, processing technologies, lower production costs and a focus on new products geared to health and non-food uses.
The federal investment under the AgriFlexibility fund, part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, totals $4.62 million. The Government of New Brunswick is investing $3.08 million.
The funding will go towards the following five programs:
· New Brunswick Site Suitability Assessment - providing farmers with environmental and resource information to allow them to make better economic and environmental use of existing and potential farmland;
· Capturing Crop Development Opportunities – funding for farmers, organizations, agribusiness and academic institutions to develop new crops and sectors and add value to crops by maximizing their uses in non-food markets;
· Plant and Livestock Health and Quality – support to increase farm profitability and product quality by reducing the impact of pests and diseases on crop and livestock sectors;
· New Brunswick Agriculture Profitability Enhancement - funding to help farmers lower their cost of production by addressing unique inefficiencies or modify production processes to help position them for new market opportunities;
· Seizing Opportunities for Value-Added and Niche Production – funding to help small-scale agri-food businesses acquire or adapt equipment and processes to reduce costs, improve product quality and develop new products.
“This announcement reflects how our Government is working hard to help farmers remain competitive,” said Rob Moore, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism and Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal. “These programs will help to open new markets and increase prosperity for the agriculture industry in our community and across the province.”
“Through this announcement, we are reaffirming the commitment of both levels of government to support continued growth in the agriculture sector; this is essential as New Brunswick moves toward self-sufficiency”, said Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also the Minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.
Funding is subject to the project meeting all eligibility requirements and the signing of a contribution agreement.
Through Canada's Economic Action Plan (EAP), the Government of Canada is helping farmers find new markets, adapt to current economic challenges and make their businesses more efficient and environmentally sustainable. The EAP will remain focused on strengthening the economy, while working towards returning to balanced budgets and securing Canada's economic future. For more information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food media