Ontario Invests $3.7 Million to Expand Farming in the North
Funding to Clear and Improve Lands Will Help Diversify the Region’s Economy
Ontario is providing $3.7 million to help increase farm production in the Northeast as part of the government's plan to build a more diverse economy in the North.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the investment today in New Liskeard on the final day of her week-long trip to more than a dozen communities across Northern Ontario. Through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), the government will invest in four projects run by consortiums of farmers. The projects, involving 76 farmers in total, include clearing land to bring new farmland into production and installing tile drainage systems on new or existing farmland to remove excess water, leading to larger and healthier crops.
Ontario is providing:
- $1 million to Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) for about 1,900 acres of land for a consortium of nine farmers in the Timiskaming and Cochrane regions
- $999,925 to NOFIA for about 1,897 acres of land for a consortium of 12 farmers in the Timiskaming and Cochrane regions
- $952,200 to West Nipissing East Sudbury Agricultural Support Projects Inc. for about 1,587 acres of land for a consortium of 26 farmers in the Nipissing and Sudbury regions
- $793,725 to Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre for about 1,383 acres of land for a consortium of 29 farmers in the Algoma and Sudbury West regions.
The NOHFC's investments in agricultural projects -- part of the government's Growth Plan for Northern Ontario -- are promoting economic diversification, helping farmers take advantage of local and niche markets, and contributing to a sustainable local food source for Northerners.
Investing in agricultural expansion in the North is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- The NOHFC has invested more than $17 million in 20 land clearing and tile drainage projects since 2013. This funding has leveraged an additional $20 million in economic activity, resulting in total agricultural improvements of more than 35,000 acres.
- Land clearing is the first step in preparing land for agricultural use. It is the process of removing trees, stumps, brush, stones and other obstacles, and liming and leveling the land.
- Installing tile drainage is a common land improvement practice among farmers in Ontario. It is highly effective at creating more consistent crop yields, while reducing plant stress, soil compaction, and wear and tear on equipment.
- Since 2013, the NOHFC has made total investments of over $406 million across Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.2 billion in direct economic activity and helping to create or sustain almost 9,200 jobs.
“Our government is investing in projects to clear land for farming and improve yields on existing land, which will increase the food supply in the region and give more Northerners access to sustainable, locally grown produce. By helping farmers expand agricultural production in Northern Ontario, we are diversifying the economy and supporting growth for years to come.”
“Supporting agriculture in the North is a key commitment of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. Our government is investing in agriculture infrastructure to ensure that Northern farmers and their families can build successful farming operations that will contribute to Northern communities and local economies.”