BusinessIt's all gravy for P.E.I. potato industry

    It’s all gravy for P.E.I. potato industry


    The Prince Edward Island potato board says the high price for potatoes will put millions of extra dollars into the provincial economy this winter.

    Prices were a big topic of conversation when growers met in Charlottetown for the board’s annual meeting Nov. 18.

    But prices vary depending on which varieties are grown.

    “Prices are up considerable,” said potato farmer Alex Docherty, who is also the board president.

    “A penny a pound brings nine million more dollars so some varieties are up five, some are up eight cents. Well do the math, it’s 75 million coming into the economy of P.E.I. just in the potato industry alone … and you know what’ll happen with that, it’ll all get spent.”

    The potato harvest is now complete. Good weather contributed to high yields this year across the Island, Docherty said.

    P.E.I. agriculture sector in good shape

    Prince Edward Island’s agriculture sector is well positioned to weather a slow Canadian economy, says an economist with Farm Credit Canada.

    According to J.P. Gervais, chief agricultural economist with Farm Credit Canada, Domestic Product growth in P.E.I. is higher than the national average.

    “That’s partly the result of a stronger manufacturing base, perhaps not as much as we would like it to be, but if you look at the positive, it’s definitely growing fast compared to the rest of the country, which is a big positive for P.E.I.”

    He added that while prices for most commodities are stagnant, that’s not the case for potatoes.

    “Good growth on the demand side for potatoes, as well as a low Canadian dollar, did increase the sales in the U.S. especially, as well as give producers a really high price,” Gervais said.

    “So combine that with strong production, it actually shows up pretty well in the picture for the P.E.I. potato sector.”

    Some at the Potato Board AGM had questions about how a new U.S. government, under president-elect Donald Trump, could impact the sale of Island potatoes outside Canada.

    According to Gervais, it’s unlikely the Trans Pacific Partnership will go ahead, but that doesn’t mean the work that went into the TPP was a waste. He said Japan, in particular, a country part of the existing TPP agreement, could still become a big customer when it comes to importing potatoes from Canada.

    “So if we put TPP aside, and focus on the one on one relationship with Japan, which imports a lot of it’s food,” Gervais said. “If we could just lower the trade taxes that we face as Canadian businesses, at the border when we sell into Japan, that would be a big benefit actually.”


    Source:  CBC


    Trending This Week

    Potato field at Borden-Carleton, P.E.I.

    The P.E.I. Potato Industry is Edging Back to Normal

    After a year of upheaval following a potato wart discovery, P.E.I. has worked hard to regain their spud status. More than a year after potato...
    Manitoba Potato Production Days 2023 stage

    MPPD Celebrates 50 Years of Potato Memories

    Manitoba Potato Production Days (MPPD) kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration with an opening night reception followed by a full day of presentations, demonstrations...
    Freshly emerged potato field

    Fortified Stimulate Yield Enhancer’s (aka Stimulate) Offers 40.4 cwt/acre Marketable Yield and Consistent Benefits

    Drumroll please…. The results are in from this year’s trials and – at a whopping 12.6 to 1 (!!) return on investment – Stimulate’s results...
    Centre pivot in P.E.I.

    P.E.I. Potato Board Calls on Feds to Listen to International Experts Report

    The Prince Edward Island Potato Board is calling on the federal government to listen to the findings from an international panel of experts who...
    Potato field being sprayed

    PMRA Potato Products Review Refresher

    With the PMRA having reviewed numerous potato products, it’s important to keep track of what you can and can’t use anymore. Over the past few...