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Federal government investing in N.B. orchards, vineyards


June 23, 2008
By Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada

Topics

June 23, 2008, Memramcook, NB –
The Government of Canada and the province of New Brunswick are
investing up to $772,680 to help tree fruit and grape growers meet new
market demands.

June 23, 2008, Memramcook, NB – The government of Canada and the province of New Brunswick are investing up to $772,680 to help tree fruit and grape growers meet new market demands.

Federal funding of up to $463,680 is being made available under the Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program in New Brunswick and is designed to assist producers in the removal of fruit trees and vines and to help industry organizations develop strategic commodity plans.

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The province is contributing up to $309,000 under the New Brunswick Apple Industry Development Initiative to help apple growers plant new varieties, improve their post-harvest apple storage systems, enhance on-farm food safety and quality control assurance requirements, and prepare orchards for replanting. The first $100,000 of this funding was announced in May 2007 and is being used by the apple sector.

“The government of Canada is listening to farmers from coast to coast and delivering the help they need, when they need it,” said Rob Moore, Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal. “New Brunswick’s tree fruit and grape industries are changing their operations to stay competitive, and this government is supporting them through that transition.”

“These investments will allow tree fruit and grape growers to be responsive to marketplace demands by removing varieties which are no longer required, and replanting with varieties that are in demand and grown under more efficient and productive systems," said New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture and Aquaculture Ronald Ouellette. “The revitalization of these sectors will allow agriculture to be a full participant in our government’s objective of achieving self-sufficiency.”

The Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program (OVTP), which runs until March 31, 2011, will allow New Brunswick tree fruit and grape growers to apply for funding to help cover some of the costs associated with removing fruit trees or vines, and for industry associations to develop strategic commodity plans.

In order to be eligible, producers who participate in the OVTP will need an orchard or vineyard that is a minimum 0.25 hectares in size, and will have to commit to keeping the land in agriculture or available to agriculture for five years.

Eligible producers who have removed fruit trees or vines as of October 25, 2007 or later, will receive financial assistance of up to $4,000 per hectare to cover some of the costs of removing plant stock.

Of the $463,680 in federal funds, up to $19,200 will be available to industry associations to develop strategic commodity plans.

The New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture will deliver the program.

The provincial contribution of $309,000 complements the OVTP, and includes $100,000 under the New Brunswick Apple Industry Development Initiative announced in May 2007 to help apple growers plant new varieties, improve their post-harvest apple storage systems, enhance on-farm food safety and quality control assurance requirements, and prepare orchards for replanting.

For further information on the Canada-New Brunswick Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program, please call the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture at 1-506-453-2108.