New federal initiative to strengthen P.E.I. potato sector

The agriculture and agri-food sector plays a vital role in communities across Prince Edward Island and throughout Atlantic Canada. When potato wart was detected on P.E.I. in the fall of 2021, export restrictions threatened the livelihoods of more than 5,000 Islanders who work in the industry. The Government of Canada moved quickly to provide support to those most severely impacted.

Building resilience into the P.E.I. potato industry  

Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Associate Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Cardigan, announced the launch of the Prince Edward Island Potato Stabilization and Innovation Initiative (PSII).

This two-year, $16 million measure aims to support the recovery of P.E.I.’s potato sector. The initiative will provide investments in areas such as digitalization and automation, development of value-added products, and diversification into new and emerging markets.

While exports of table potatoes to the United States have resumed, restrictions on the movement of seed potatoes remain in place and the industry continues to face challenges related to the closure.

The PSII has been established to help the industry become more resilient to market changes, support long-term investments and assist in stabilizing the sector and supply chain. The PSII will help small- and medium-sized enterprises modernize their operations to enhance productivity, and diversify product lines to respond to changing market conditions.

The Government of Canada continues to work with industry to map a path forward for the P.E.I. potato sector to ensure that producers and businesses are positioned for long-term, sustainable growth.

Quick facts

  • In January 2022, the Federal Ministerial Coordinating Committee on P.E.I. Potatoes was formed to bring a whole-of-government approach to help farmers affected by the United States trade disruption.
  • Budget 2022 committed $16 million over two years to support long-term investments to assist in stabilizing the P.E.I. potato sector and related supply chain. Federal funding for the P.E.I. Potato Stabilization and Innovation Initiative (PSII) is conditional upon Treasury Board approval.
  • The P.E.I. Potato Stabilization and Innovation Initiative (PSII) is available to P.E.I. table or seed potato growers and key suppliers to the potato sector operating in P.E.I. that can demonstrate impacts resulting from the restrictions on the movement of P.E.I. potatoes.
  • Not-for-profit organizations or provincial entities providing support to the P.E.I. potato sector are also eligible to apply.
  • More information on the P.E.I. Potato Stabilization and Innovation Initiative (PSII), including how eligible applicants can apply, is available on the Atlantic Canada Opportunities website.
  • The Government of Canada has committed a further $12 million to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to continue its efforts to prevent the spread of potato wart on P.E.I.

For more information:

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mike Critchley    
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency 

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