Ontario Growing Agriculture Sector in Rainy River District

Posted on December 20, 2022

EMO – The Ontario government is providing $1 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to the Rainy River Future Development Corporation (RRFDC) to administer a tile drainage installation project in the Rainy River District. This investment will create jobs, improve crop yields and stimulate economic development in the northwest.

“Our provincial government recognizes the importance and significance of farmers to the north’s economic prosperity,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development. “We are proud to invest in tile drainage projects that lead to quality arable land, a longer growing season and larger, healthier crops.”

The RRFDC is a membership-driven, community-based non-profit corporation that assists with business development throughout the Rainy River District by offering a variety of services to the community. It will use NOHFC funding to support the installation of tile drainage on approximately 1,900 acres, benefitting a consortium of 14 local producers.

Installing tile drainage is a common land improvement practice among farmers in Ontario. It is highly effective at creating more consistent crop yields and promoting a longer growing season, while reducing plant stress, soil erosion, and wear and tear on equipment.

“The RRFDC is pleased with the NOHFC's continued support of the Rainy River District's agricultural community,” said Gordon Armstrong, President, RRFDC. “The tile drainage projects have improved our crop lands, created employment and expanded the area's economy."

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $578 million in 4,935 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.87 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 7,870 jobs.

Quick Facts

  • Tile drainage is the installation of corrugated plastic tubing and concrete drain tile beneath the surface of agricultural land to drain excess water from the crop root zone.
  • The NOHFC has invested more than $17.3 million in 21 tile drainage projects across Northern Ontario since June 2018. This funding has leveraged an additional $16.1 million in economic activity, resulting in total agricultural improvements on more than 30,000 acres.
  • In 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the north.

Additional Resources

  • The NOHFC’s Invest North Program boosts economic growth and attracts more investment by supporting business development, expansion and innovation.

Media Contacts

Erika Robson, Minister’s Office -- 416-450-1309 -- erika.robson@ontario.ca

Media Desk, Communications Branch -- mediadesk.ndm@ontario.ca