Building resilience in the potato sector of Prince Edward Island

P.E.I. potatoes

Prince Edward Island potatoes

November 04, 2023
In the fall of 2021, the detection of potato wart disrupted sales of Prince Edward Island (PEI) potatoes to the United States, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Islanders.

The Government of Canada launched the Prince Edward Island Potato Stabilization and Innovation Initiative (PSII) to help the industry recover.

The PSII is a two-year CAD 16 million (USD 11.7 million) initiative that is helping small and medium-sized enterprises modernize, diversify and adapt to meet changing market conditions.

The initiative supports investments in a range of areas including digitalization and automation, improved storage, development of value-added products, and diversification.

The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced a combined contribution of over CAD 12.5 million (USD 9.14 million) for 27 businesses across P.E.I.

The announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to work with the P.E.I. potato sector to ensure that producers, and the businesses that support them, are positioned for long-term sustainable growth.

Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA:
 
"When potato wart shut down the export of P.E.I. potatoes to the U.S. and other international markets in 2021, the federal government began working with producers and industry partners to forge a new path forward. We will continue working together to ensure long-term sustainability and resilience for this pillar of the Island economy."
Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Member of Parliament for Cardigan:
 
"The Island’s potato industry is an iconic cornerstone of our economy, and a real great source of pride for communities right across the province. This federal support will help the sector continue to recover and provide island farmers with the tools to build resiliency for generations to come."
Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown:
 
"The Island’s potato industry is made up of many rural and urban based businesses, creating critical economic momentum in our Province. Federal support for this industry’s recovery not only helps hard-working growers and processors, it also has a very real ripple effect, strengthening many other sectors like advanced manufacturing and tourism."
Heath MacDonald, Member of Parliament for Malpeque:
 
"Farmers work tirelessly to support our communities. They drive employment, produce economic spin-offs for other businesses, and contribute to our identities as Islanders. As the P.E.I. potato sector innovates and adapts to changing market demands, we will continue to provide support."
Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont:
 
"I have great confidence in the resilience and ability of our local farmers to overcome the challenges we are facing following the restriction of movement of P.E.I. potatoes. The Government of Canada understands that in order to remain competitive, we must invest in the sector, in state-of-the-art equipment, and in the people who build the industry every day."
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