PEI Growers Lose Millions

Published online: Mar 19, 2001
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Prince Edward Island potato growers stand to lose millions of dollars because of the U.S. border blockade of their potatoes this year.

The aid package of C$14 million will not be enough. It will only cover about 25 percent of production costs not to mention real losses, growers say.

Since the closure, Quebec and Ontario's sales to the U.S. have increased by 49 and 39 percent. "PEI has become the patsy and is biting the bullet for the rest of Canada," the Ag Federation said.

About 300 million pounds of potatoes have already been dumped on PEI fields. In addition, plant workers affected by the potato wart debacle have been offered C$5 million compensation starting today for a two-year period. That program will be co-managed provincially and federally. Workers will be doing farm and community-related work.

A National Farmers Union representative says he's outraged at the government's treatment of the PEI potato industry.