AG points out low uptake; problems in record keeping
How do you like them cranberries? Apparently not well enough. At least not as a business.
© Submitted photo
Bog is moved to make a cranberry bed on the Cape Shore. TC Media file photo
In 2008, the provincial government launched a five-year program aimed at stimulating the rapid growth of cranberry production. A total of $12.2 million was expected to be spent on that program — the Cranberry Industry Development Program — but only $5.6 million has been paid out.
The province wanted to see cranberries coming from 500 acres in five years, but has fallen about 300 acres short of that goal.
As of March 31, 2013 there were 14 cranberry producers covering roughly 200 acres.
In addition, for the cranberry farmers who received funding, provincial auditor general Terry Paddon says proper reviews were not completed in all cases before funding was handed out.
Over the five-year program, the province failed to meet its own guidelines for record keeping by not always obtaining business plans before government funding was provided and failed to always obtain complete financial information from farmers receiving funding.
In addition to the funding program, government has also invested in cranberry projects through other government funding programs, test farms and a nursery for cranberry starter plants.
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