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Canadian govt aims to help redistribute stranded potatoes; farmers say new program may not be enough

A first-of-its-kind federal program aimed at redistributing surplus food during the COVID-19 pandemic is an initial step toward moving some of the thousands of tonnes of excess potatoes currently stuck in storage on southern Alberta farms, producers say. Amanda Stephenson reports for the Calgary Herald.

However, farmers warn the $50-million program will only go so far, meaning large quantities of good-quality potatoes could still end up being turned out onto fields and left to rot this summer.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the creation of a new surplus food purchase program to assist farmers who have lost their markets due to COVID-19 while helping communities and families in need to get food.

The program, part of a total $252-million government investment in agriculture announced by Trudeau on Tuesday, will help redistribute existing and unsold inventories of products such as potatoes and poultry, both of which have suffered a collapse in demand due to the pandemic.

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