KELOWNA, BC, March 11, 2019 /CNW/ - Canada's tree fruit industry is large and growing, with apples representing 41.5% of the total marketed production of Canadian fruit in 2017, valued at $224.6 million, and cherries representing a farm gate value of $88.2 million in the same year. The Government of Canada and Canadian tree fruit farmers know the importance of research and innovation to ensure this industry continues to grow and prosper.
Today, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country Stephen Fuhr announced an investment of up to $4.2M under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Program to the British Columbia Fruit Growers' Association. This funding will support the Association in developing innovative, commercially successful Canadian-bred apple and sweet cherry cultivars that enhance the profitability of Canada's tree fruit sector.
This project, which builds on research funding received under the previous agricultural policy frameworks, consists of ten activities, with research and testing taking place in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Today's announcement is part of Minister Bibeau's first agricultural tour, where she is meeting with farmers, processors and industry leaders.
"As the fruit industry expands into new markets, producers will need to develop new varieties of products that grow in Canada's diverse climate to ensure they can meet consumer demands here and around the world. Our Government is committed to ensuring the industry and our producers have the tools they need to succeed."
- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Tree fruits are vitally important to British Columbia's agricultural sector, and BC processors know the importance of staying on the cutting edge. Through projects such as the one we announced today, our Government is ensuring our producers are able to keep up with demand and remain innovative."
- Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country
"Research enables change. The CAP funding provided for this project will help the industry develop and adopt the exciting new varieties developed at Summerland Research and Development Centre. The funding includes a number of activities to improve yields and quality of apples and cherries as well as to test the new varieties in a range of climates across Canada. This research project will help growers increase profits and production. Thank you for the vision of the Minister of Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and thank you to our industry funding partners and Summerland Varieties Corporation for their involvement and leadership in this important project."
- Pinder Dhaliwal, President of the BC Fruit Growers' Association
- The British Columbia Fruit Growers' Association is a non-profit industry association established in 1889 to support a prosperous, sustainable and innovative tree fruit sector.
- The AgriScience Program aims to accelerate the pace of innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadians.
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
For further information: Katie Hawkins, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, 613-773-1059, [email protected]; Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 613-773-7972, 1-866-345-7972, [email protected]