Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Department supports Organic Agriculture Centre for Canada (02/05/15)

NB 481

May 15, 2002

FREDERICTON (CNB) -- The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture will invest $50,000 this year for research and development in organic agriculture, through the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

In recognition of the growing opportunities for organic agriculture, and the need for scientific research and technology transfer, the Nova Scotia Agriculture College began, in 1999, to develop plans for the Organic Agriculture Centre for Canada (OACC).

"Organic production is more demanding and difficult than conventional agriculture, in terms of knowledge of the biological process and field management skills, both agronomic and economic," Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Rodney Weston said. "There is also more variability in the responses of organically managed farms. The work of the OACC will therefore be dedicated to the development and dissemination of scientific and economic knowledge of organic agriculture."

The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada is established at Nova Scotia Agriculture College with a mission to develop and improve the science of organic agriculture in Canada through support and coordination for practical and credible education, research and information dissemination related to organic agriculture.

The OACC has now been formalized and has developed an initial work plan as a basis for matching support from other partners, including provincial governments, to fully develop its programs for the benefit of organic farmers of Canada. The purpose of the memorandum is to confirm the understanding of the support to be provided and how it is to be used.

"The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture will commit $25,000 this year for funding to the OACC," Weston said. "We will invest a further $25,000 annually at the beginning of the next two fiscal years, pending submission of an annual report and business plan for the following year form OACC.

"We will also commit $25,000 in 2002 in support of development and research initiatives within New Brunswick," the minister said. "These initiatives will be co-managed by the Organic Agriculture Centre and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture. Equivalent amounts will be made available for this program on a need basis for the next two fiscal years."

Funding support provided by New Brunswick will largely be spent to support students collecting data on farms in New Brunswick, for bursaries to New Brunswick farmers who participate in research and data collection, for extension support from OACC specifically directed to New Brunswick, for research conducted on farms in New Brunswick, for travel from OACC to provincial sites, and for help desk support to be accessible to farmers from New Brunswick.

Projects to be undertaken are Web Course Development, Assessing Organic Research Needs, Transition Strategies, On-Farm Research, Information Access, Market Research and Environmental Horticulture.


MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Josée Groulx, communications Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218 or 506-470-6522.