With $3 million in funding through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency under CAF, Grand Falls-Windsor is creating new opportunities by establishing over 100 acres for cranberry production.
My name is Lloyd Warford and I live in Central Newfoundland, Grand Falls – Windsor Area. I’m the Cranberry coordinator for the project the town of Grand Falls – Windsor is involved with.
Well the initiative was started back in 2009, after the paper mill in the town shut down. So the town was looking for some other industry for the region. And, in the meantime the department of natural resources had a cranberry initiative program and the two fit pretty good together so we’ve started a cranberry industry in the Central Newfoundland region. Well the funding was very important to get this project started and it probably wouldn’t have started with out it or at least not on the scale it is started.
The town of Grand Falls – Windsor acquired some funding from both federal and provincial governments to start this intuitive plus the farmers invested ten per cent of the cost of producing. Right now we have ten farmers that are producing or have cleared twelve acres of cranberry bog. They’re at different stages right now with any where from probably an acre and a half planted upwards to Two hundred and twenty two acres.
It’s been quite a boost to the whole region the Exploits Valley region. Its mainly created employment in the construction industry. The tree nursery at Woodsdale has recalled workers the had been laid off to grow the cranberry plants, the construction industry – when we initially started construction we had as many as twenty two excavators working that would have been idle at that time of year. And besides the people that are in the high-density polyethylene pipe and irrigation systems, the farmers have bought tractors, excavators, planters and constructed buildings on site. So it’s been a big big boost to the region.
The general public thinks that all these farms, these ten farms were developed with all government funding which is not the case. These farmers have put two point six million dollars of their own money into these farms, which is a huge investment, and, you know it shows confidence in the industry and the project as a whole.