Study addresses economic importance of PEI’s potato industry

The potato industry contributes over $1.3 billion annually to the economy of Prince Edward Island, and is responsible for more than 5,000 full-time equivalent jobs, according to a new study prepared by the Department of Agriculture and Land.

Research carried out by Dr. Ziad Ghaith, an economist in the department’s policy division, underlined the importance of this single crop to the people of the Prince Edward Island.

“Most Islanders have a sense that the potato is our most important crop, but I felt we should have solid numbers,” Ghaith said. “It’s astonishing just how vital potato farming and processing are to our economy and how much they contribute to the tax base in this province.”

Agriculture and Land Minister Bloyce Thompson said the study shows the importance of potatoes as a single crop, but also the opportunity for economic growth.

Potato farmers do great work to not only support this industry but to create wealth that benefits the whole province. I want to work with farmers to get the most value we can from our potato crop and, hopefully, to help the agriculture industry develop other crops that can provide similar benefits to our community.

- Agriculture and Land Minister Bloyce Thompson

“This study re-affirms the essential role of the potato industry in Prince Edward Island’s economy,” said Greg Donald, general manager of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board.  “Beyond the impacts on farms, packing sheds and processors, it is enlightening to demonstrate how the potato industry generates jobs and significant economic activity in the province’s retail and service sectors.”

Dr. Ghaith’s study is available at The Prince Edward Island Potato Sector: An Economic Impact Analysis

Media contact:
Ron Ryder
Department of Agriculture and Land

Greg Donald
General Manager, Prince Edward Island Potato Board

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