The Prince Edward Island potato industry has committed $500,000 for research.

During a series of mid-January meetings hosted by the Charlottetown-based Prince Edward Island Potato Board, growers gave near-unanimous consent to allocating $100,000 a year for five years to research, according to a board news release.

The new funding will combine with other industry funds to leverage provincial and federal government research funding, mainly under the upcoming Growing Forward II program, which begins in April.

PEI growers will help decide which national and provincial research projects will receive board funding, and PEI will work with other potato-producing Canadian provinces and research partners on a national potato research strategy.

In addition, the board is working with industry partners, the PEI Department of Agriculture and Forestry and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to develop a provincial strategy for research to be conducted on Prince Edward Island.

More than 88,000 acres of potatoes are grown on PEI, making it Canada’s top-producing province.