July 24, 2007
Consultant Begins Work on Central Labrador Dairy Feasibility Study
A study to determine the viability of establishing primary and secondary milk production in central Labrador has now begun.
Central Consulting Services Inc. of Gander was selected to do the study following a competitive Request for Proposals. The consultant will undertake a comprehensive review of the feasibility of private industry establishing primary and secondary milk production in central Labrador.
"Determining the economic feasibility of primary and secondary production of supply-managed commodities, such as dairy, is an important step towards diversifying the agriculture industry in Labrador," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. "We are confident the report from the consultant will give us valuable insight into whether the region can sustain a milk production industry."
The need for the study was identified in the Northern Agrifoods Development Strategy. The Terms of Reference were developed by the Department of Natural Resources in consultation with the Lake Melville Agricultural Association and the Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador.
"I am pleased this study is now underway and I, along with the residents of central Labrador, eagerly await the recommendations of the final report," said the Honourable John Hickey, Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs and MHA for Lake Melville. "I am optimistic that an opportunity exists for the establishment of a private milk production facility in Labrador. This study is part of this government's commitment to the agricultural industry in Labrador."
"We have been requesting a study such as this for a number of years and are very excited to see it move forward," said Frank Pye, secretary of the Lake Melville Agricultural Association. "If the study demonstrates that a milk production industry is economically feasible in this region, dairy could become the back bone of agriculture development in Labrador."
The Provincial Government announced the Request for Proposals to complete the study in March of 2007. The contract is valued at $58,100 and the study will take about six months to complete.
The study will cover a variety of topics, including commodity regulation, cost of production, market research, processing and distribution. The study is being funded by the federal and provincial governments under the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). The Terms of Reference are available at www.nr.gov.nl.ca/agric
The federal and provincial governments have allocated $1.5 million under APF to encourage the development and commercialization of a northern agrifoods industry in Labrador. Investments have been made in pesticide storage, land development, construction of a vegetable storage facility in southern Labrador and new technology related to the effect of irrigation and modified fertilizer application on potato production. Research and development also continues into carrot production in southern Labrador based on the unique growing conditions.
The Provincial Government also provided funding of $165,000 to the Lake Melville Agricultural Association in 2004 to purchase a tractor and associated equipment to assist its members in the development of the agriculture industry in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area.
Media contact: Tracy Barron 2007 07 24 11:25 a.m.
2007 07 24 11:25 a.m.
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