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Northern Agriculture Gets A Boost

Aprogram to encourage the expansion of agriculture production and to increase the availability of locally produced healthy foods in northern Manitoba was jointly announced May 28 by Treasury Board president Vic Toews and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk.

“Northern Manitoba offers many real and untapped opportunities for sustainable development in agriculture production,” said Minister Wowchuk. “Livestock can be raised and a variety of food crops can be grown across the North utilizing innovative production methods and processing systems. Marketing of locally grown food also creates more healthy options for the residents of the North.”

The Northern Agriculture Program will receive $600,000 from the federal government and $250,000 from the provincial government through the federal-provincial Growing Forward partnership. Growing Forward is a national agriculture framework to co-ordinate federal and provincial agriculture policy.

This program is designed to encourage the development of agricultural production that includes agriculture education and technology development support to northern residents and the development, testing and launch of livestock and crop production systems. Creating and developing marketing opportunities that will make fresh, locally produced foods accessible to remote communities is also part of the plan.

The Northern Agriculture Program focuses on residents in rural and First Nations communities north of the 53rd parallel with programs being supported and facilitated by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) staff from the Northern GO Team. For more information go to: www.gov.mb.ca/agricultureor by calling MAFRI’s toll-free line at 1-866-626-4862.

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