TULIT'A, NT, Sept. 4, 2018 /CNW/ - Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector provides good, middle-class jobs across the country, while providing nutritious, high-quality foods for all Canadians. Agriculture also plays a large role in Canada's north, with over 230 farm operators in the Yukon and Northwest Territories in 2016. As the northern agriculture industry develops, the Government of Canada continues to support our farmers and processors to ensure they have the tools needed to adapt to difficult agricultural conditions.
Today, while speaking at the Sahtu Secretariat Inc. (SSI) and Sahtu Dene Council (SDC) Annual General Meeting in Tulit'a, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, congratulated K'asho Got'ine Community Council on a recently completed project valued at $50,100 through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). This investment helped the organization lead a community-scale cold-climate agriculture pilot project to assess the local soil and climate conditions required for the production of various types of vegetables, focusing on 20 potato cultivars, and provide solutions for soil quality issues.
The project concluded that, using a soil-enriching method, there is the potential to build a reliable, sustainable food system in remote northern communities.
"Access to affordable, nutritious, safe and locally produced food is essential for a healthy community. Strengthening food security is a priority for the Government of Canada and projects like this will help find solutions to challenges in the north. Northern communities will be able to grow vegetables, while growing their economies and putting healthy food on the community tables."
- Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"I'm proud to have announced the completion of this important project. This project is a great example of the Governments support for innovative approaches and technologies used to solve challenges facing Northerners. We want to empower our communities to keep researching resourceful ways to keep their communities economically sustainable – particularly in regions with unique environmental challenges like Fort Good Hope."
- Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament, Northwest Territories
"This pilot project was to develop a real, simple and reliable local agricultural system that has the best chance of producing a reliable food system across northern communities. The project proved that our cold climate adaptive technology is feasible. We can develop crops above the permafrost, and our next step is to purchase and install a greenhouse for commercial vegetable production."
- Chief Wilfred McNeely, K'asho Got'ine Community Council, Fort Good Hope
- This project is supported by the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a funding initiative that helps the farming sector to remain competitive by piloting solutions to new and ongoing challenges
- Canadian Agricultural Adaptation program (CAAP) (2014-2019) is a five-year $50.3 million program. Its objective is to help the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector seize opportunities, respond to new and/or emerging issues, and find and/or pilot solutions to new and ongoing issues, so it can adapt and remain competitive.
- The K'asho Got'ine Community Council in Fort Good Hope, NT is one of four Indian Band Councils that are members of the Sahtu Tribal Council which is part of the Dene Nation in the Northwest Territories.
- K'asho Got'ine Development Corporation is the Indigenous business arm of the K'asho Got'ine Community Council in Fort Good Hope (NWT) a community of 500 residents.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
For further information: Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, 613-773-1059; Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 613-773-7972, 1-866-345-7972, [email protected]