Quebec greenhouse growers want to double sales in 5 years

Quebec Greenhouse Producers (PSQ) estimate the investments required to achieve the main objective of their development plan to be $ 800 million: to double greenhouse production sales to nearly $ 700 million over the next five years. This was presented to the producers at the Annual General Meeting on November 20th.

The current value of sales is $ 140 million for greenhouse vegetables and $ 188 million for ornamental crops. The director general of the QSP, Claude Laniel, said that in 2024, these figures could respectively reach $ 280 million and $ 376 million if producers and the government invest. "What we would like to develop and fine-tune over the next year is a plan that is not only for large vegetable farms that want to build, but also for small ornamental businesses that could afford to modernize and increase their productivity, "he said.

The QSP plan provides that $ 300M of the $ 800M would come from an investment fund whose producers would benefit from loans or loan guarantees. Rumor has it that this fund does not come from La Financière agricole du Québec, but rather from the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation and Investissement Québec through the Essor program. The sum would make it possible to expand and modernize the Quebec greenhouses.

Of the $ 800 million, $ 70 to $ 100 million would come from the Green Fund. Nearly 400 greenhouse companies are still fueling their facilities with fuel oil and propane. The QSPs negotiate with Hydro-Québec to obtain a terawatt hour of surplus electricity at a favorable rate of 3 cents per kilowatt hour instead of 5.8 as is currently the case for the exported one. The difference between these two rates would cost Hydro-Québec $ 75 million over the next five years. "Hydro-Québec can not lower its rates. It must be offset by the [Green Fund], "said Claude Laniel.

The remaining $ 400 million would come out of the pockets of the producers themselves. In assembly, the latter adopted two resolutions supporting the development plan unanimously.

The Coordinating Chamber at the Régie

The QSPs will file a formal application for accreditation with the Quebec Agricultural and Food Markets Board in the coming months for the project of a Coordination and Development Chamber among members of the greenhouse industry. The brief is written, argues Mr. Laniel, but for it to be filed with the Régie, the QSPs need the support of legal advisers. "However, the rates are high because the legal services, both at the UPA and elsewhere, know little about the coordination chambers. So they are asking for $ 22,000 just to study the memory project and help file it with the Régie, "says Claude Laniel. He said that 80% of the money will allow lawyers to improve their knowledge before filing. The QSPs have requested financial support from the UPA.

Source: La Terre de chez nous

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