Newfoundland invests in greenhouse vegetable facilities, research and training
June 19, 2020 By Newfoundland Fisheries and Land Resources
Newfoundland and Labrador today announced nearly $13 million in funding to assist farmers, including construction of a new greenhouse complex, supporting regional vegetable cold storage facilities and expanding vegetable transplant capacity at the Wooddale Centre.
$1 million will go towards constructing a greenhouse complex at the Western Agriculture Centre Research Station at Pynn’s Brook. This includes seven greenhouses and a header house. The complex will produce vegetable transplant and fruit plants, support agricultural training programs at College of the North Atlantic and Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, and provide greenhouse space to enhance departmental research and development.
Wooddale Critical Equipment Supply
$1.01 million will go towards acquiring agricultural equipment to expand activities at the Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Development associated with the vegetable transplant program, provincial seed potato program, and fruit crop development program.
Vegetable Cold Storage
An additional $1 million will go towards support proposals received during the on-going Expression of Interest for regional vegetable cold storage facilities in Labrador, Western Newfoundland, Central Newfoundland and Eastern Newfoundland, for a total investment of $1.25 million. Each facility is expected to generate at least five seasonal positions.
Regional Equipment Banks for New Farming Entrants
$1.5 million will go towards establishing provincially owned and operated equipment banks in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Pynn’s Brook and Wooddale to support the start-up of new farming operations in identified Agricultural Areas of Interest, and to help spur agricultural development in Central Labrador. These locations have been identified based on areas where new land is available for development, and equipment is unavailable to rent or borrow from other farmers.
$1.4 million will go towards constructing 30 kilometres of new roads and bridges to provide primary access to Crown-owned Agricultural Areas of Interest available for lease to existing and new farmers for vegetable and fruit production. Road construction is estimated to create employment for 60 people, and seasonal agricultural employment for up to 100 people.
Agricultural Virtual Market Opportunities
$100,000 to establish supports to enable farmers to sell products direct to consumers online.
Honeybee Development Program
$300,000 to provide financial and training support to beekeepers hoping to expand production. Newfoundland has a unique situation in the world because of the disease-free status of its honeybees. Training and support for the beekeeping industry, in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association (NLBKA), will result in the ability to create jobs in production and secondary processing of honey products.
The funding is part of a plan to support employment in rural communities and help open new markets and products for renewable resource-based businesses during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Funding for these initiatives is expected to generate at least 250 seasonal and permanent jobs in the agriculture sector.
“Newfoundland and Labrador’s agriculture industry, including secondary processing, is valued at $500 million and employs more than 5,000 people. This plan will enhance measures already in place to support food self-sufficiency,” says Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
A summary of the initiatives announced today include:
- $3.5 million to increase local beef production and determine support for local secondary beef processing facilities;
- $2.75 million for land development to increase large-scale potato production;
- $1.5 million for regional equipment banks to assist new farming entrants;
- $1.4 million for road construction to improve access to agricultural Areas of Interest;
- $1.25 million to support proposals for regional vegetable cold storage facilities;
- $1 million to construct a greenhouse complex at the Western Agriculture Centre Research Station at Pynn’s Brook;
- $1.01 million for critical equipment at the Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Development at Wooddale to expand activities to support the agriculture sector;
- $300,000 for training and supports for the beekeeping industry; and
- $100,000 to support agricultural virtual market opportunities
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