Attracting New Farmers to Nova Scotia

Agriculture

October 18, 2010 11:01 AM

The Department of Agriculture is partnering with the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration to attract immigrant farmers to rural Nova Scotia through the Provincial Nominee Program.

Agriculture Minister John MacDonell and Ramona Jennex, Minister of Immigration, announced today, Oct. 18, $260,000 in funding from the Community Development Trust to attract new producers to set up farming operations in Nova Scotia.

"We are looking to attract farmers to Nova Scotia who are a right fit for our province and agriculture industry," said Mr. MacDonell. "We will be talking to experienced producers who are interested in immigrating and setting up sustainable farming operations. This initiative allows us to strengthen our rural communities by creating good jobs and growing the economy."

The project includes developing detailed agriculture sector profiles, a website and a database of available farm land in Nova Scotia. It also involves hosting information sessions in targeted
countries and preparing profiles of Nova Scotia and selected agricultural sectors.

The Office of Immigration will support the initiative by creating an Agri-food Sector Pilot stream as part of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program. This will provide a specific and efficient way to process applications from international farmers. After an evaluation, similar programs for other sectors will be considered in co-operation with provincial departments.

"Nova Scotia's agri-food sector has benefitted for generations from the expertise of immigrants," said Ms. Jennex. "This new stream provides another opportunity for the province to benefit from experienced and innovative farmers from around the world."

Ciro Comencini and Alessia Pulze and their children recently immigrated to Nova Scotia from Italy. They are operating a sheep dairy farm in Kennetcook, Hants Co., that will produce Italian cheese.

"I loved Nova Scotia the first time I saw; it is a very beautiful place," said Mr. Comencini. "It is a good market for the cheese and a good place to grow the family."

Funding for the project is provided through the Community Development Trust Fund, a $34.9 million program established in 2008 by the federal government to help communities and sectors experiencing economic challenges.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The Department of Agriculture is partnering with the Nova

Scotia Office of Immigration to attract immigrant farmers to

rural Nova Scotia.

     Agriculture Minister John MacDonell and Immigration

Minister Ramona Jennex announced today (October 18th) 260-

thousand dollars from the Community Development Trust to support

the initiative.

     The project includes developing agriculture sector profiles,

a website and a database of farms for sale in Nova Scotia.

     It also involves holding sessions in specific countries with

information about agriculture sectors.

     The Office of Immigration is supporting the initiative by

creating a program for immigrant farmers to be called the Agri-

food Sector Pilot stream under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program.

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Media Contacts: Susan Mader Zinck
                Department of Agriculture
                902-424-8963
                E-mail: madersd@gov.ns.ca

                Tom Peck
                Office of Immigration
                902-424-3742
                E-mail: peckto@gov.ns.ca