North

Federal gov't puts up $15M for agriculture projects in North

Federal agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says the funding is meant to increase food security in northern Canada.

Funding is meant to increase food security in northern Canada, agriculture minister says

The federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau at the Yukon government's research farm Monday, flanked by Yukon MP Larry Bagnell. (Dave Croft/CBC)

The federal government is spending $15 million to increase food security in the North, according to Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Bibeau made the announcement Monday just outside Whitehorse at the Yukon government's research farm.

The money will be spent over the next five years through the Northern Isolated Communities Initiatives Fund, she said, and delivered by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).

"We like to have innovative ideas," said Bibeau in regards to what projects might be funded.  

"Everything related to providing new infrastructure greenhouses or, you know, anything related to new production, crops that are better adapted to the region here for example." 

Sonny Gray, the president of the Yukon Agricultural Association, welcomed the news of the federal funding. (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

Sonny Gray, the president of the Yukon Agricultural Association, said money for innovative projects is welcome.

"We're looking at a lot of projects that are, like, for example, non-soil based projects. We're looking at different adaptations of greenhouses," said Gray.

He said more and more farmers are also entrepreneurs.

"So now you're mixing the business end of things with the farming end of things," Gray said. "And so innovation is bound to happen."

Gray said he's confident the money will go to worthwhile projects, in part, because people in the industry are on advisory committees that have a say in funding decisions.

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