Farming stands to be a growth sector in the east Algoma district and more should be done to promote the industry, according to a two-year study prepared by Harry Cumming and Associates. The study indicates only 25 per cent of the area's 300,000 acres of farmland is under cultivation.
The study was released at the MacLellan Hall in Tarbutt Township, east of Sault Ste. Marie. The agricultural sector in the Algoma-Manitoulin area generates about $73 million in sales a year, providing more than 1,000 direct jobs and about 2,400 indirectly. The study says there is the potential to create 2,000 to 3,000 more jobs if economic development officials and community leaders can get financing and development tools in place.
According to 1996 census figures, beef farms made up 49 per cent of farm types, followed by specialty and field crop farms.