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P.E.I. Minister of Agriculture Bloyce Thompson:

‘Government’s $4.7 million allocation to Cavendish Farms, P.E.I. Potato Board will still be spent’

In May of 2020 P.E.I. Minister of Agriculture Bloyce Thompson announced an agreement that would see $4.7 million dispersed to the P.E.I. Potato Board and Cavendish Farms. This initiative was a reaction to a deterioration of the market for potatoes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This agreement is still in effect.

At the time, the province claimed there were 100 million pounds of potatoes remaining from the 2019 growing season. The remaining crop was partly due to the closure of restaurants throughout North American due to the pandemic.

After scrutiny from the Opposition Greens, Thompson acknowledged late in the spring legislature session that the potato market had since improved. He suggested the funds would not be fully dispersed to either the P.E.I. Potato Board or Cavendish Farms, telling the legislature the funds might be allocated to seed potato growers who have also experienced economic losses.

But in an interview last Tuesday, Thompson said the agreement to disperse the $4.7 million to the P.E.I. Potato Board has been signed and is in effect until March 2021. The contract requires the P.E.I. Potato Board to submit periodic invoices each month.

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