The Prince Edward Island government has pledged $4.7 million in support for potato farmers and processors who have had markets upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, the province announced in a news release on April 23.
“Prince Edward Island was built by our Island’s hard-working farming and fishing families and communities. It is important for not only our economy and food supply, but also our culture and tradition that they remain productive during the pandemic,” Premier Dennis King, says in the release.
The $4.7 million will go towards helping with shipping and storage costs of potatoes for processing in order to mitigate a potato surplus, the release says.
The Department of Agriculture and Land’s Business Risk Management Programs are also being provided with extra funding, the release says. Funding will be doled out through the AgriStability and AgriInsurance programs which are funded in part by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
P.E.I. will pay for AgriStability coverage levels to be increased from 70 per cent to 85 per cent, the release says. The province is also offering interim payments of up to 75 per cent. When combined, this will provide an estimated $5.6 million in support for farmers over two years. The AgriInsurance Program will offer a 10 per cent discount on the producer’s share of insurance premiums, saving farmers an estimated $3.2 million over two years.
The provincial government also encourages farmers, farm families and farm workers who need them to access mental health supports to visit www.FarmersTalk.ca.