HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia farmers can now apply to a $1.2-million government program aimed at covering workplace health and safety costs associated with preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Agri-Food Canada is providing $983,500 of the total funding for the emergency on-farm support fund, while the province is adding about $246,000.

Farms with five or more workers can be eligible for up to 75 per cent of eligible costs for things such as personal protective equipment, to a maximum of $50,000.

In a news release issued Friday, Nova Scotia Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell says it is a priority to ensure all workers can perform their jobs safely during the pandemic.

Colwell says supporting farm workers ensures the protection of a high-quality food supply.

Farmers seeking to apply for funding must do so online before Dec. 31.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.