Home   News

Ontario ag project could receive provincial funding

Ontario ag project could receive provincial funding

The government sets $5 million aside for five projects in the next budget

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

An ag-related project designed to help communities in northern Ontario could receive $1 million in provincial funding.

The Ontario Government is setting aside a $5 million to fund five projects in the upcoming budget. Ontarians are encouraged to vote for initiatives until Jan. 26 through Budget Talks.

One of the proposals is designed to develop a youth-driven greenhouse to address food security and poverty in northern Ontario.

Youth in the James and Hudson Bay communities would work together to start a greenhouse business. They would grow, sell and distribute fruit and vegetables to surrounding neighbourhoods, according to the project description.

Accessing healthy food can be a challenge for many individuals in remote parts of Ontario. Government funding could go a long way towards ensuring residents can enjoy fresh and local produce.

“The quality of the fruit and vegetables that we get isn’t all that great,” Rubin McNeely, founder of the James Bay Eeyou School Greenhouse Program, told today. “This (funding) would allow people to learn about agriculture and produce some of their own food.”

A greenhouse project can be a good way to promote sustainability within northern, rural communities.

Several factors, including transportation and cost, have hindered the availability of food in these areas.

Building a greenhouse can help develop an agricultural infrastructure, said Neil Currie, general manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

“Accessing healthy, nutritional food and developing the habits for a nutritious diet is critical,” he told today. “The greenhouse technology exists now to be able to grow produce year-round, so why not take advantage of it? And a greenhouse is a permanent building that can provide full-time jobs in the community.”

Photo: alexemanuel/iStock/Getty Images Plus