Strawberry farmers will have financial support from the province to help cover the cost of replanting their crops in the wake of the strawberry virus.
The new provincial funding, announced by Agriculture Minister John MacDonell today, Aug.
9, allows growers to remove infected fields, as recommended by a consultant, and replant with the support of interest-free loans. Repayment of the loans is only required after the crop is harvested.
“This funding will help affected strawberry growers with the process of replanting,” said Mr. MacDonell. “The provincial funding allows us to leverage an existing federal program to ensure the entire loan for replanting is interest-free.”
A number of factors could impact the final cost of the province’s financial support for the interest-free loans, but it is expected to be less than $100,000.
Between the interest-free loan program and the other three existing federal-provincial business risk management programs, strawberry farmers will be able to access about $2 million in taxpayer assistance.
“I am confident that between these three federal-provincial cost-shared programs and the interest-free loans, the supports will be there to help strawberry growers through this challenge,” said Mr. MacDonell.