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Exploring the Opportunities and Constraints to the Success of Newfoundland’s Wild Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium Angustifolium Aiton) Industry

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Title: Exploring the Opportunities and Constraints to the Success of Newfoundland’s Wild Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium Angustifolium Aiton) Industry
Author: Major, Chelsea
Program: Geography
Advisor: Fraser, EvanMoola, Faisal
Abstract: Newfoundland and Labrador’s biophysical environment has not been particularly conducive to crop agriculture. The province’s agricultural industry accounts for only 1% of its GDP. The number of farms, farm operators, farmland, and cropland within Newfoundland and Labrador are all experiencing decline outside of national averages. This has led to great provincial interest in increasing agricultural capacity in the province. A potential avenue for agricultural development is strengthening the province’s wild blueberry industry. Through a mixed methods case study that involved a geographic information system-based multi-criteria land suitability analysis and interviews, this research explores the potential for this industry and the different challenges and values that may impact it. This thesis analyzes the biophysical potential for this industry through the manipulation of various geospatial layers to determine suitability for commercial wild lowbush blueberry farming. This thesis also engages with perceptions of the barriers that impede the wild lowbush blueberry industry in Newfoundland as well as the potential opportunities to strengthen this sector. Finally, it examines the socio-cultural values surrounding wild lowbush blueberries in Newfoundland and cautions that these values may be more important than the potential market value created through blueberry commercialization
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/23696
Date: 2021-01
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