N.B. puts $1.7M into “self-sufficiency” ag programs

Six crop and livestock programs geared toward New Brunswick’s broader policy goal of provincial “self-sufficiency” will share $1.7 million in funding.

Provincial Ag Minister Ronald Ouellette announced the funds Monday, describing them as “investment capital to agricultural producers in the areas of land development, livestock genetic enhancement, organic industry development, apple industry development, export market development, and honeybee expansion.”

This is the third consecutive year that the province has identified its Strategic Agriculture Initiatives program as a funding priority, the province said in a release Monday, estimating its $1.7 million contribution could generate $5 million to $6 million in total investments.

“Investing in agriculture will ensure the long-term viability of the industry, allowing it to contribute to our objective of achieving self-sufficiency for New Brunswick,” Ouellette said.

The funding pledged Monday will go toward:

  • the Livestock Genetic Enhancement Initiative, supporting “the purchase or retention of genetically superior animals” and thus enabling producers to “adapt to and take advantage of new production and marketing opportunities,” with elements for the beef, swine, sheep, goat, mink and farmed fox sectors;
  • Agri-land Development, to provide financial assistance to farmers to bring land into production that will support more sustainable crop rotations, increase the land base available for crop production and boost self-sufficiency in livestock feed crops;
  • a market development initiative for export opportunities, supporting projects relating to market development and expansion, market promotion and product evaluation, training and technology transfer;
  • the Apple Development Initiative, to establish new and more productive orchard systems, apple varieties and rootstocks, and to help set up new technologies to improve post-harvest apple storage systems and improve on-farm food safety and quality assurance;
  • an Organic Development Initiative, to support established organic operations and individuals, and agri-businesses in transitioning to organic production or considering establishing commercial-scale organic production and/or organic value-added activities, and also to “support and augment” the organic certification system; and
  • a Honeybee Expansion Initiative, to help New Brunswick beekeepers expand their operations through the purchase of colonies, nuclei colonies and/or encourage splitting of existing strong colonies.

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