North America

Canada: Govt funds inject promise into afflicted Prince Edward Island potato industry

For Boyd Rose of East Point Potatoes and Ray Keenan of Rollo Bay Holdings in Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI) province, the impacts of having the Canada-US border closed to exports of PEI potatoes last winter are still being felt, as Charlotte MacAulay reports for The Eastern Graphic.

But with the recent funding opportunities from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) the two producers, along with seven other PEI potato companies, can bounce back a little easier.

East Point Potatoes received a $500,000 no-interest repayable loan from ACOA to upgrade and expand equipment at the eastern PEI facility that buys potatoes from more than 20 local farms. Mr Keenan said the loan his company received, $950,000, will be used to automate part of their packing operation and lessen the need to fill labour-intensive positions.

The total amount of funding announced last Friday is $4.2 million. The majority is in the form of loans, but the PEI Potato Board is receiving $240,000 in non-repayable funds earmarked for promoting biosecurity among farms.

Source: The Eastern Graphic. Read the full story here
Photo: Ray Keenan of Rollo Bay Holdings, centre, introduces ACOA Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor to Greg Donald Manager of the PEI Potato Board prior to an announcement of $4.2 million in funding for the PEI potato industry. Credit Charlotte MacAulay / The Eastern Graphic
Related: Federal initiative building resilience in the P.E.I. potato sector

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