The governments of Canada and P.E.I., under the AgriRecovery Framework, will provide up to $15.6 million to assist producers affected by the poor 2018 fall harvest.
In 2018, cold weather crept up quickly on potatoes that were still trying to grow from an unusually dry summer. In addition to the cold weather, excessive rains limited the amount of consecutive days Island producers had for harvest. By the end of the season, 7,000-acres of potatoes were left abandoned in frozen ground.
Through the 2018 Canada-PEI Fall Harvest Recovery Initiative, financial assistance will be provided to producers for the extraordinary costs relating to harvest recovery, additional field work, and storage and recovery, including costs associated with cleaning and disinfecting storage facilities.
“Our agriculture industry is an important driving force behind our economy. Island farmers experienced a difficult growing season last fall and we are pleased to be partnering with the federal government to support them through initiatives like AgriRecovery,” said Dennis King, Prince Edward Island premier, in a released statement.
Additional information about the initiative will be available through the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Land, and will enable producers to mitigate impacts from the extreme weather and effectively continue their operations.
The announcement is welcome news for a province where potatoes are the dominant cash crop. P.E.I., despite increasing potato acreage in Western Canada, continues to be the largest potato-producing province in Canada, growing one-quarter of the potatoes in the country. Last year, the province exported over $400 million in seed, fresh and processed potato products last year making up over half of its total agricultural exports.