Nova Scotia's mink industry is getting $500,000 from the province to fund university research into nutrition and environmental management.

The provincial government pledged the money for industry research in its 2014 budget, with mink producers chipping in an equal amount. It took almost a year to strike an agreement with Dalhousie University to create a research team.

Dan Mullen, a mink producer in Waterville, says the money will also be used to try and find a solution to the industry's biggest problem, Aleutian disease, which causes minks to have abortions and often leads to death.

Mullen says mink is Nova Scotia's largest agricultural export and commodity; the industry will sell 2.3 million pelts by the end of this season.

"Recognizing that, [the province] understood that there hasn't been much investment in our industry over the decades," he said.

"They see the opportunity for us to grow and provide jobs in rural Nova Scotia."

He says the partnership with Dalhousie will help attract local and possibly international researchers to the province.