NEW ANNAN – Cavendish Farms is spending $6 million to build a new state-of-the-art potato research facility near its processing facility in New Annan, P.E.I.
The company said in a press release that it wants to breed new potato varieties that are better able to withstand P.E.I.’s changing climate.
“In the face of this changing climate, our research will be focused on high yielding potatoes that can withstand and be resistant to hot dry summers and disease pressures,” said Robert K. Irving, president of Cavendish Farms. “Developing a potato variety that grows better yields in shorter seasons with less fertilizer will be beneficial to the PEI environment.”
The new facility will include a greenhouse capable of growing potatoes year-round. It’s expected to open in 2020 and will create four full-time and 12 seasonal jobs.
Greg Donald, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, welcomed the news as important to the future of the province’s most important cash crop.
“A locally-driven approach to developing varieties that are more suitable to our specific climate will be an asset to the entire P.E.I. potato industry,” said Donald.
Cavendish Farms is owned by J.D. Irving Limited. The company has been pushing for changes to the Island’s potato industry for years, including allowing more deep-water wells for irrigation.