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Province announces $6.5 million for northern ag projects

Tile drainage, agri-food initiatives among recipients
Parks Canada Bison Relocation_1
The province has announced $6.5 million in agri-food funding, including $200,000 for BisON to establish a bison ranch northwest of North Bay. (Parks Canada photo)

The provincial government used the first day of the 2019 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in Verner to announce more than $6.5 million for 20 agriculture projects in the North.

Of the funding, more than $4.3 million will go toward five tile drainage projects in northeastern Ontario, which is expected to increase the land available for farming and increasing the value of existing farmland.

Tile drainage involves the installation of plastic tubing underground, which helps siphon excess water out of the soil.

The province said in a Sept. 17 news release that, in recent years, it’s invested more than $37 million in 41 tile drainage projects, representing 64,569 acres of Northern Ontario farmland.

Of the 20 agri-food-related projects, $200,000 will go to BisON to build a new bison ranch in Crystal Falls, northwest of North Bay, to meet increasing demand for bison meat in Ontario.

Another $200,000 will go to Capella Innovation to establish a food and beverage testing facility in Sudbury.

The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario will use $93,546 to develop a three-year program to train new, yung and existing farmers in ecological agriculture in Northern Ontario.

And $200,000 will go to Randy Martin Farms to establish a high-grade soybean farm in Richard’s Landing east of Sault Ste. Marie.

A full list of the projects being funded is available here.

Funding for the projects comes from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp.