Jul. 8, 2013, Kelwna, BC – The British Columbia tree fruit industry is getting a boost from the Government of Canada for research into new apple and sweet cherry varieties. The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, and Member of Parliament Ron Cannan (Kelowna-Lake Country) announced an investment for the British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association to help producers better meet growing market demands on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.
Apples and sweet cherries are responsible for more than 80 per cent of the farm gate value of Canadian-grown tree fruits, and this $3.2M project will support the BC Fruit Growers’ Association in developing new apple and sweet cherry varieties, as well as improving disease and pest management practices. By introducing new varieties, producers will be able to meet evolving market demands and increase their competiveness and sustainability.
Agriculture Minister Ritz was recently in China where Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada successfully gained new market access for fresh cherry exports from B.C. The B.C. Cherry Industry estimates that by 2014, the sales value of fresh cherries to China will be $10M, and over the next five years will double to $20M.
“We want to thank all of the scientists who are involved in this research, as well as our federal funding partners at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This investment will help to enhance the benefits of new varieties for the growers,” said Jeet Dukhia, President of the BC Fruit Growers’ Association.
This support from the AgriInnovation Program under Growing Forward 2, builds on a previous investment of $2.3M under Developing Innovative Agri-Products as part of Growing Forward for research into new tree fruit varieties.
For more information, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2.
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