Nov. 2, 2007
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A further $200,000 funding allocation to make New Brunswick agricultural producers more competitive and self-sufficient was announced today by Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette.
A total of $150,000 will be invested in the Hog Industry Enhancement and Renewal Initiative, while $50,000 will help develop a pilot project initiative on energy audits.
This latest announcement brings the total funding of strategic agriculture and agri-food initiatives by the Province to $1 million over the past few months.
"Investing new money in agriculture shows how serious this government is about enhancing the ability of the agriculture industry to play an important role in our government's goal of achieving self-sufficiency," Ouellette said. "These investments are the result of the department responding to strategic plans that were developed by different commodity sectors in the province."
Ouellette said that the objective of the Hog Industry Enhancement and Renewal Initiative is to encourage New Brunswick hog producers to assess and adapt to required production protocols to meet new market opportunities.
Hog producers in New Brunswick and everywhere else in Canada are going through an especially difficult year, with very low hog prices, very high feed costs and a soaring Canadian dollar.
The funding will be made available directly to producers through four programs, which include production audits, feeding system upgrades, assistance for assessing new technology and market opportunities, as well as a long-distance transport infrastructure modification pilot.
The pilot project initiative on energy audits will be conducted in collaboration with the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick and Efficiency New Brunswick. It will help determine the existing energy use and demands of 12 farms, while identifying means of energy conservation that are cost-effective with short-term payback times.
"Energy costs can affect agricultural producers' bottom line in an important way," Ouellette said. "We hope this pilot project will lead to a formal on-farm energy conservation initiative in the future."
Prior to today's announcement, Ouellette had announced strategic initiatives worth $800,000 in the areas of agri-land development, beef genetic enhancement and renewal, dairy cluster development, honey bee revitalization, sheep genetic enhancement, apple development and organic farming development.
With $450 million worth of farm cash receipts and 15,000 on-farm and processing jobs, agriculture is a vital economic driver for New Brunswick.
For more information on the New Brunswick Hog Industry Enhancement and Renewal Initiative, visit http://www.gnb.ca/agriculture and click on Strategic Agriculture Initiatives 2007.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alain Bryar, communications, Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218.