The provincial and federal governments are making $3 million available to help stop the spread of COVID-19
By Diego Flammini
The federal and Manitoba governments announced a new program to help stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the processing sector.
The Special COVID-19 Response Initiative earmarks a total of $3 million from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership for processors, organizations representing processors, and industry service members like abattoirs and feed mills.
The governments designed the program to help these businesses take action to ensure safe environments.
“Food producers and processors have had to deal with so many new challenges over the past months, while continuing to supply Canadians with the high-quality food they produce,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a July 20 statement. “The funding our two governments are delivering together today gives Manitoba processors an extra financial boost to adjust to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and help keep their workers safe.”
The governments will help fund the purchase of protective equipment, COVID-19 testing and sanitation supplies, and the purchase of equipment or adaptations to equipment that help reduce the spread of the virus.
In addition, efforts like pandemic awareness and planning will be eligible for receive funding.
Ottawa and Manitoba will provide up to 50 per cent of the associated costs up to a maximum of $25,000 per applicant.
The ag processing sector is important to Manitoba’s economy.
In 2017, the ag production and processing industries contributed almost 6 per cent of Manitoba’s total $71 billion GDP.
These essential workers deserve the funding to ensure they can do their jobs safely and continue to play a major role in the province’s success, said Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba’s ag and resource development minister.
“Manitoba’s food and agri-product processors are significant contributors to our economy, so we are pleased to offer a program that helps respond to these challenges,” he said in a statement.
Farms.com has reached out to Food and Beverage Manitoba for comment.