P.E.I. Government to Provide Funds for Potato Diversion

Published online: Feb 03, 2022 Articles
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Source: CTV News

More details about funding for potato growers on Prince Edward Island, including $12.2 million from the provincial government, have been released amid the ongoing export ban to the United States.

Officials announced late Tuesday the cost of the Surplus Potato Management Response Plan would be shared between P.E.I. and the federal government, with Ottawa contributing $28 million previously announced in December.

They say an estimated 131 million kilograms of potatoes will be diverted to processors, packers, dehydrators, food banks and other markets through the plan.

Producers will get up to 8.5 cents a pound for the disposal of potatoes, and current estimates project about 136 million kilograms will need to be destroyed -- representing just over one-tenth of the yield in P.E.I. in 2021.

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement Tuesday officials knew the longer the ban lasted, the more likely it was that potatoes would eventually need to be destroyed, and now that day is here.

P.E.I. potatoes have been barred from entering the U.S. since November when fungal potato wart was discovered in two fields on the Island.