Oct
26
2022

Support available for PEI farmers dealing with impacts from Hurricane Fiona

The Government of Prince Edward Island is announcing a new $17 million dollar investment that will fund a suite of programs for those in the agriculture industry who were significantly impacted by the effects of Hurricane Fiona.

The programs being announced today are a direct effort to assist farmers and the agriculture industry as a whole recover from losses incurred as a result of the extreme weather, as well as provide funding that will help PEI’s agriculture industry become more resilient to these types of events in the future.

The Hurricane Fiona Agriculture and Land (DAL) suite of supports will consist of six (6) funding programs directly targeted to help DAL clients and stakeholders who incurred damage from Hurricane Fiona. The investments include: 

  • The Hurricane Fiona Agriculture Support Program that will support farmers who experienced extraordinary costs pertaining to impacted harvest and destruction, affected livestock operations, damaged or destroyed buildings, and/or costs to remove debris and re-plant downed trees;
  • Additional funding to the Island Community Food Security Program to expand the list of eligible applicants so that community fridges and gardens can continue to stay stocked in times of need, as well as increasing the existing cap for those already receiving funding;
  • The launch of the On-Farm Electrical Interruption Assistance Program, a new program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), that will help those in the agriculture industry invest in equipment such as generators to assist with resiliency efforts for the future;
  • An additional investment into the Farmers Assistance Program and FarmersTalk.ca resource to ensure producers have the mental health assistance that may be needed post Fiona;
  • Adjustments to Business Risk Management Programs will support the agriculture industry to ensure farmers have access to timely support through AgriStability and AgriInsurance.

Additional to these programs, the Department of Agriculture and Land has sent a formal assessment under the AgriRecovery Framework to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to assist in response to the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Fiona.

For more information on how to apply for and access these supports, visit Hurricane Fiona Supports for PEI Agriculture

Quotes:
“In a year where our agriculture industry has been working hard to overcome and adapt to unimaginable hardship, our farmers were dealt yet another blow by the damage that Hurricane Fiona brought to crops, livestock and infrastructure. Since the hurricane hit, our team has been working directly with clients and agricultural stakeholders to identify areas where additional help and support is needed. We are very proud that we are able to offer these targeted programs that will help those impacted recover in the immediate term, and also in the future as we look to improve on our agriculture industry’s resilience to these types of weather events.”

-    The Honourable Darlene Compton, PEI’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Agriculture

“PEI farmers have remained resilient in the face of the overwhelming devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona. During my recent visit to the Island, I heard first-hand their willingness to rebuild better, to deal with climate change, and I applaud them for that. The Government of Canada will continue to work closely with the province to support farmers and their families on the road to recovery, giving them the time, they need to get there.”

-    The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Media contact:
Kip Ready
Department of Agriculture and Land
kjready@gov.pe.ca

Background:

The Hurricane Fiona Agriculture Support Program - $15M

The Hurricane Fiona Agriculture Support Program is designed to support the economic viability of crop and livestock producers who incurred extraordinary costs.

All crops and livestock will be considered with four streams of eligibility:

I.    Agricultural buildings and structure damage

The Department of Agriculture and Land will provide financial assistance for rebuilding and repairing damaged and/or destroyed agricultural buildings as a result of Hurricane Fiona. To be eligible, the buildings must be currently insured.

II.    Extraordinary costs associated with crop harvest and destruction

The Department of Agriculture and Land will provide financial assistance to agricultural producers and custom operators for the extraordinary costs related to harvest and crops as a result of Hurricane Fiona.

III.    Assistance for affected livestock producers

The Department of Agriculture and Land will provide financial assistance to agricultural producers for the extraordinary costs associated with livestock as a result of Hurricane Fiona.

IV.    Farms and Agriculture Land

The Department of Agriculture and Land will provide financial assistance to agricultural producers for the extraordinary cost of cleaning up after Hurricane Fiona; particularly for clearing downed trees from farm fields, access roads, tree lines, and hedgerows that are interfering with normal farming activities and to repair damaged fence lines.

Business Risk Management - $2.2M

I.    AgriStability

AgriStability provides support when farmers experience large margin declines, and offers enhanced funding for crop losses. 

  • To support those in the agriculture industry who were affected by Fiona, the Government of PEI through the Agriculture Insurance Corporation worked with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to allow producers currently enrolled in AgriStability who missed the September 30 filing deadline to submit their final 2021 application without penalty until October 31, 2022. Producers currently enrolled in AgriStability can also apply for an interim payment at a rate that has been increased from 50% to 75% of the estimated final benefit.
  • To further ensure PEI’s agriculture industry is able to focus on recovery efforts, the Government of PEI has worked with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to open late participation again for the 2022 year. 
  • Finally, the Government of PEI will cover the cost of any penalty associated with late participation.

II.    AgriInsurance

AgriInsurance provides cost-shared insurance against natural hazards to reduce the financial impact of production or asset losses. The Government of PEI will provide a 10% discount on producer premiums for the 2023/24 fiscal year which will give those affected in the industry additional cash flow to manage Fiona related impacts. This is a budgeted investment of up to $1.9M.

Note on BRM: These programs are demand driven and based on actual losses that may occur during a production year. Actual costs will not be determined until application deadlines have passed, actual losses have been incurred and applications have been processed.

On-Farm Electrical Interruption Assistance Program – $500,000

The Government of PEI in collaboration with the Federal Government through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, will provide support to farms to purchase and install backup electrical generators to overcome food safety, biosecurity, and animal welfare issues that occur during extended electrical power interruptions.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

Community Food Security - $100,000

The existing community food security initiative will be amended to include a broader range of applicants. The funding cap for previous applicants will be increased and overall funding for the program will be increased.

Mental Health Assistance for Producers - $20,000

The Department of Agriculture and Land has provided additional funds to the Federation of Agriculture to further support the administration of Farmer Assistance Program for counselling and/or other services.

General Inquiries

Department of Agriculture and Land
5th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street,
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown, PEI C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-4880
Fax: 902-368-4857

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Agriculture Information Desk
1-866-PEI FARM (734-3276)

DeptAgLand@gov.pe.ca