Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

August 18, 2011 10:14 ET

Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador Invest in Farming Sector

ST.JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2011) - The Newfoundland and Labrador farming sector will receive more than $11 million to promote innovation in the sector and reduce the risk of foreign animal diseases. Regional Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, Federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queens Privy Council, Peter Penashue and the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, made the announcement today in St. John's, Newfoundland.

"This investment will bolster the competitiveness of the Newfoundland and Labrador agriculture sector by building and strengthening the province's capacity for innovation," said Minister Penashue, on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "At the same time, we are strengthening our protection of this valuable industry by increasing the provinces capacity to detect, monitor and control the spread of foreign animal diseases."

"This funding will strengthen our provinces agriculture industry through investment in research capacity, improving expertise and better positioning the industry to improve response to foreign animal diseases," said Minister Skinner. "Our farmers and processors have demonstrated the ability to adapt and succeed and innovative approaches will support growth and improvement for the provincial agriculture industry."

The joint investment by Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador will focus on two initiatives, and provide:

  • $7.5 million for the Agriculture Research Initiative to help farmers and others in the sector lower production costs, enhance environmental sustainability and seize opportunities in new crop varieties, livestock and crop management practices through new techniques especially suited to the Newfoundland and Labrador climate; and
  • $3.9 million for the Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness and Specified Risk Materials Disposal Initiative to build a new animal disease laboratory that will help increase animal disease surveillance and detection capacity.

The federal government will contribute more than $6.8 million under the AgriFlexibility Fund, part of Canada's Economic Action Plan. Newfoundland and Labrador will invest more than $4.5 million.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan (EAP), the Government of Canada is helping farmers find new markets, adapt to current economic challenges and make their businesses more efficient and environmentally sustainable. The Next Phase of the EAP will remain focused on strengthening the economy, while working towards returning to balanced budgets and securing Canada's economic future. For more information on Canada's EAP, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Agriculture Research Initiative

The initiative is designed to develop applied research capacity in Newfoundland and Labrador's private and public sectors to promote the competitiveness of the Province's agriculture sector.

Investments are to be made in the following strategic areas:

  • soil, land and water resource management;
  • development of crop and livestock management practices which enhance yields and reduce production costs;
  • northern agricultural practices;
  • testing and evaluation of new crops and varieties in the horticulture sector; and,
  • other agricultural and agri-food related areas.

Priority will be given to research submissions that involve partnerships between agricultural producers, processors, industry associations, public and private sector research agencies and universities within Atlantic Canada, demonstrate the leveraging of additional resources, provide direct benefits to the agriculture industry and have a strong science-based approach.

Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness and Specified Risk Materials Disposal Initiative

The overall objective of this initiative is to support the competitiveness of the livestock industry in Newfoundland and Labrador by establishing a foreign animal disease laboratory with a bio-medical waste incinerator. This facility would enable rapid and accurate animal disease surveillance and animal disease detection, as well as limited use as a facility for specified risk materials (SRM) disposal on a fee-for-service basis. It would also expand existing animal disease surveillance and research, and develop local expertise and decrease dependence on outside laboratories. The implications are beyond agriculture, as animal diseases are connected to public health and the overall economy.

The laboratory is to be added onto the existing post-mortem facility operated by Animal Health Division, Department of Natural Resources in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The post-mortem facility requires renovations as part of this plan.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059

    Heather Maclean
    Director of Communications
    Department of Natural Resources
    Newfoundland and Labrador
    709-729-5282