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Northerners push for more food self-sufficiency

Northern communities are gaining greater self-sufficiency in food, said Northern Affairs Minister Oscar Lathlin, speaking in Thompson last week at the Northern Harvest Security Forum.

More northerners are growing garden and raising small animals such as goats and chickens thanks to the Northern Healthy Food Initiative, a series of programs aimed at reducing northerners’ dependency on imported food by encouraging more local food production.

More than 400 gardens have been planted across the North and over 160 freezers purchased by northern householders to preserve what they now grow.

“It may seem like a small thing to grow vegetables in a plot of land that is tiny by comparison to large modern farms in the south, but to people in the North, this can bring a huge improvement to their lives,” Lathlin said in a press release.

The Public Health Agency of Canada, Heifer International and a number of provincial government departments including Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives and Manitoba Health and Healthy Living fund the northern programs.

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