The provincial government announced three programs in one week
By Diego Flammini
Nova Scotia’s provincial government has rolled out multiple new programs to support the province’s ag community.
Between Feb. 7 and 10, Nova Scotia introduced three programs to help different areas of the province’s ag sector.
On Feb. 10, Greg Morrow, minister of agriculture, announced farmers can apply for the Local Food Advancer Program.
This program helps farms generating more than $1 million in sales annually invest in new technology, equipment, product development or consumer reach initiatives.
“The food produced in Nova Scotia is second to none, and we want to see more of it on kitchen tables across the province,” Minister Morrow said in a statement. “Not only does this program help the government reach its buy-local goals, it also helps build stronger, more sustainable farms in rural Nova Scotia.”
Applicants can receive up to 40 per cent of a project’s costs, with a maximum of $400,000.
The deadline to apply for the program is Feb. 28.
One day prior, on Feb. 9, Minister Morrow introduced the Fiona Greenhouse Replacement Program.
This program helps farmers who experienced greenhouse losses during Hurricane Fiona rebuild or purchase replacement greenhouses, grow tunnels and other related items.
“We said we would support our farmers, and this program is just one of the ways the provincial government is delivering on that promise,” Minister Morrow said in a statement.
Growers who experienced losses on Sept. 23 and 24 are eligible for the program.
Eligible expenses include structures, electrical and heating equipment, tools and technology used to operate the greenhouse.
Applicants can receive up to $10 per square foot for heated greenhouses, $7.50 per square food for unheated greenhouses and $5 per square foot for grow tunnels.
Interested producers have until Feb. 24 to apply for the program. A quote detailing eligible costs should be submitted at the same time as the application or by March 15.
And on Feb. 7, Minister Morrow introduced a new support program for abattoirs and meat processors.
The Abattoir Enrichment and Efficiency Program is open to all provincially and federally licensed abattoir and meat processors in the province.
The program is designed to help upgrade these facilities.
A total of $500,000 is available for the program and covers up to 60 per cent of eligible upgrades per program year.
Abattoirs can receive a maximum of $25,000. The maximum for meat processors is $10,000.
Nova Scotia is working towards a more self-sufficient food supply. Investing in local meat processors is one way to achieve this, Minister Morrow said.
“As we work towards our goal of 20 per cent of the money spent on food by Nova Scotians being spent on locally produced food, we are pleased to see sectors like this one willing to grow their businesses to help us meet this target,” he said in a statement.
The deadline to apply for this program is Feb. 28.