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MINISTER MACKAY ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR TWO FEDERATIONS OF AGRICULTURE ON CAPE BRETON ISLAND
SYDNEY (NS) – April 24, 2012 – The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie, announced today a contribution from the Government of Canada to assist the two federations of agriculture on Cape Breton Island acquire equipment that will be made available to their memberships.
“Creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity remain our Government’s top priorities,” said Minister MacKay. “Agriculture contributes significantly to the economy of Cape Breton Island and to all of Canada, providing many direct and indirect jobs. We are pleased to partner with the agricultural community to enable farmers to become more productive and innovative.”
Both the Cape Breton-Richmond Federation of Agriculture and the Inverness-Victoria Federation of Agriculture will be expanding their respective rental programs through the acquisition of new farm equipment. The equipment will be community-owned and community-shared.
“Start up costs for farmers can be prohibitive when it comes to the capital investment required for machinery,” added Minister MacKay. “The ability to rent equipment on an as-needed basis is important to attracting and encouraging new farmers. It is equally important to the long-term sustainability of established operations.”
The total cost of the equipment is $177,844 ($142,944 Inverness-Victoria and $34,900 Cape Breton-Richmond). Our Government is investing $133,383 ($107,208 Inverness-Victoria and $26,175 Cape Breton-Richmond). Revenues from the equipment rentals will help sustain the federations’ operations enabling them to offer various workshops and information session on matters of interest to the agricultural community.
The Cape Breton-Richmond Federation of Agriculture and the Inverness-Victoria Federation of Agriculture are non-profit, volunteer-run associations that represent the interests of the agriculture community in Cape Breton, Richmond, Victoria and Inverness Counties. Both entities have been in existence for over 80 years. Their mission is to ensure a competitive and sustainable future for the agriculture industry and a high quality of rural life in Nova Scotia.
In 2010-11, there were approximately 70 farms in Cape Breton and Richmond Counties and another 170 farms in Inverness and Victoria Counties, producing a wide range of products.
Chris van den Heuvel, President
Inverness-Victoria Federation of Agriculture
902 631 1884
Glayne MacQueen, Chair
Cape Breton-Richmond Federation of Agriculture
902 794 7633
902 564 3617