Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the 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.
Premier Ball and Minister 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 Newfoundland and Labrador.
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.
Funding for these initiatives is expected to generate at least 250 seasonal and permanent jobs in the agriculture sector.