N.L. gov­ern­ment an­nounces $2.75M for agri­foods as­sis­tance pro­gram

The Southern Gazette - - Editorial -

New­found­land and Labrador Fed­er­a­tion of Agri­cul­ture pres­i­dent Merv Wise­man is wel­com­ing the an­nounce­ment of fund­ing to help ex­ist­ing farm­ers and new entrants im­prove the eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity of the prov­ince’s agri­cul­ture and agri­foods in­dus­try.

Fish­eries and Land Re­sources Gerry Byrne an­nounced to­day, May 8, the provin­cial gov­ern­ment is in­vest­ing $2.75 mil­lion into the 2018-19 provin­cial agri­foods as­sis­tance pro­gram.

Pri­or­ity will be given to projects that sup­port food self-suf­fi­ciency, in­crease agri­cul­tural growth, in­crease sec­ondary pro­cess­ing and gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the depart­ment.

“We look for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing with gov­ern­ment and work­ing with farm­ers to help en­sure food se­cu­rity and gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment in New­found­land and Labrador,” Wise­man said.

Ap­pli­cants must have re­ported a min­i­mum of $15,000 in el­i­gi­ble agri­cul­ture sales or qual­ify as a new en­trant to be el­i­gi­ble for the pro­gram. New entrants can also now qual­ify for up to $20,000 in fund­ing un­der the agri­cul­ture infrastructure pro­gram.

The provin­cial agri­foods as­sis­tance pro­gram falls within two streams fo­cus­ing on land de­vel­op­ment and agri­cul­ture infrastructure.

For land de­vel­op­ment, rough clear­ing is re­im­bursed at $1,500 per acre with re­im­burse­ment for en­hance­ment set at the same rate. There is no fund­ing limit un­der the land de­vel­op­ment pro­gram. Fund­ing of­fers will be pro­rated based on pro­gram de­mand.

For agri­cul­ture infrastructure, el­i­gi­ble project costs are re­im­bursed at 50 per cent for ap­pli­cants. Re­im­burse­ment for pas­tures is 75 per cent. El­i­gi­ble ex­penses in­clude equip­ment pur­chase, fa­cil­ity and build­ing con­struc­tion, site de­vel­op­ment, and third-party labour.

Fund­ing lim­its are based on tiered farm in­come rang­ing from $20,000 for new entrants to $75,000 for ap­pli­cants with over $100,000 in agri­cul­ture sales.

Re­gional com­mu­nity pas­tures can qual­ify for up to $30,000 in fund­ing for land de­vel­op­ment, pas­ture en­hance­ments and cap­i­tal costs.

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