Kelly Block, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, and Thunder Creek MLA Lyle Stewart, on behalf of Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud, announced $9 million in new funding to expand and develop irrigation in Saskatchewan. This funding will add approximately 4,500 acres of irrigation capacity in the province.
“Our government understands that irrigation has the potential to expand production and mitigate the effects of future drought,” said Block. “This investment will provide a quick return through higher yields and opportunities for expanding the livestock industry, all boosting Saskatchewan producers’ bottom lines.”
“Irrigation is a major contributor to Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry and economy,” Stewart said. “Our government is committed to expanding irrigation to give farmers the opportunity to add more acres of high-value crops.”
Funding will be provided from the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) and is available to all Saskatchewan irrigation districts that qualify under the program. This funding will help irrigation districts expand their infrastructure.
Eligible costs include the purchase and installation of pumps, turn outs, power lines, pipelines, drains and consulting services. Irrigation districts have until May 18, 2012, to apply for this funding through FRWIP and all work must be completed by March 31, 2013.
“Irrigation is an important economic driver in our province and we appreciate this support to help expand the industry in Saskatchewan,” said Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association Chairman Roger Pederson.
Since 2008, the federal and provincial governments have provided nearly $30 million for irrigation expansion and rehabilitation.
FRWIP funding is provided under the federal-provincial Growing Forward framework.