Potato farmers in Prince Edward Island are getting financial assistance from the province nearly three weeks after shipments to the United States were suspended after the discovery of fungal potato wart.
According to a Canadian Press report, the Island’s Economic Growth Minister Matthew MacKay says the provincial government is launching the Potato Financing Program, which will make fixed interest working and capital loans available to potato farmers to cover operational costs.
The province has also set up wage support for potato exporters and trucking companies who previously shipped the crop to the south. This comes after officials from both Canada and the U.S. met last week to discuss the export suspension.
Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson says it doesn’t seem likely the ban on exports will be lifted any time soon.
Canada suspended all shipments of fresh potatoes from P.E.I. to the U.S. late last month after the fungal disease was discovered in two fields in the province.
Source: The Canadian Press via The Toronto Star
Photo: PEI potato farmers campaign in Ottawa during the potato wart crisis | The Toronto Star