KENTVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 6, 2013) - Strawberry producers whose fields were impacted by a virus complex will receive assistance, thanks to a new AgriRecovery initiative. Member of Parliament for West Nova Greg Kerr, on behalf of federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz, and Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell today announced a new initiative to provide up to $2.3 million to strawberry producers to remove diseased plants and replace them with healthy plants.
"The Harper Government is pleased to partner with the Government of Nova Scotia to provide funding through AgriRecovery which will help strawberry producers recover and resume operations for the next planting season," said Minister Ritz. "This Government has put flexible programs in place to help farmers when they face disaster."
"Strawberry production in Nova Scotia accounts for seven percent of Canada's overall strawberry output and is a major source of nursery plants for the rest of Canada," said MP Kerr. "This initiative will assist Nova Scotia's producers manage the virus and get their businesses growing again."
"Agriculture is the backbone of Nova Scotia's rural economy," said Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell. "The AgriRecovery funds will help Nova Scotia strawberry growers regain their footing and get our provincial industry moving forward again."
The industry- developed 2013 Canada-Nova Scotia Strawberry Assistance Initiative will provide up to $2.3 million to assist strawberry producers in Nova Scotia affected by a strawberry virus complex with the one-time extraordinary cost of removing and replacing plants to help manage the virus complex. Producers will be eligible for a payment depending on the production system in use on their farm. This payment will help to purchase new plants to replace those removed as part of the industry-led strategy. Payments will be made once producers begin replanting their strawberry crops.
"The announcement is a step in the right direction," said Dennis Boudreau, President Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. "There are substantial costs associated with the strawberry virus issue and we will continue to work with government to ensure programs meet the needs of the farm community."
This federal-provincial initiative is being delivered under the AgriRecovery Framework, which allows governments to respond to unforeseen disasters that result in extraordinary costs for producers and where assistance required is beyond what is available under existing programs. Producers are encouraged to make full use of existing government programs - AgriInsurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest, designed to help them mitigate income and production losses due to disaster events including disease.
Earlier this year, the province of Nova Scotia announced that it would cover the interest costs for advances under the federal Advance Payment Program for 2013 and 2014, making up to $400,000 available to producers interest-free under the program.
Further information regarding details of this AgriRecovery initiative and how to apply can be found at www.AgPal.ca .