Ottawa announces $28 million to help P.E.I. potato growers cope with export ban

·1 min read

CHARLOTTETOWN — The federal government will spend $28 million to help Prince Edward Island farmers manage their growing surplus of potatoes as an almost month-long export ban to the United States continues.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau told a news conference today the funding will be used to create more potatoprocessing capacity in Canada and to ship some of the surplus to food aid organizations.

The money will also go toward helping farmers seek out new markets and allowing them to safely destroy their excess potatoes this winter.

The United States potato market is worth about $120 million a year to P.E.I., and Bibeau says a “significant quantity” of potatoes will need to be destroyed, but she did not specify an exact amount.

The minister says officials will be meeting with the P.E.I. Potato Board and other industry members this week to discuss how best to use the funding.

Farmers on the Island have been barred from exporting potatoes to the U.S. since Nov. 22 after fungal potato wart was discovered on two fields in the province.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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