By Jennifer Paige
No matter how determined an industry is, without proper support from the country’s governing bodies it can be difficult to push forward and improve production and profits.
Over the past month the Canadian government has gained momentum rolling out aspects of the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP). At the Canadian Horticulture Council’s (CHC) annual general meeting held in early March in Halifax, the feds came through with a substantial display of support for the horticulture sector – an $11.5 million investment.
An additional $6.5 million in industry contributions will see a total of $18 million sunk into the Horticulture Cluster – a collaborative research effort led by the CHC. The cluster will support cutting-edge research to develop new technologies and practices for better pest and disease management, post-harvest storage and handling for apples, berries, field vegetables, potatoes and strategies to improve soil health.
“This important funding allows us to broaden the scope of research for many different fruits and vegetables and address key issues, such as pest management tools, labour, production costs, and variety evaluation. AAFC’s Cluster program will help to ensure Canadian farmers can continue to grow fruits and vegetables of the highest quality, while supporting the sector’s competitiveness in an ever-changing world,” said Brian Gilroy, president of the CHC.
On the heels of that announcement came another notable proclamation from the other side of the country. In mid-March in Kelowna, B.C., the government announced $4.2 million will be allocated from the CAP, AgriScience Program to the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association to support its efforts in developing apple and sweet cherry cultivars that enhance the profitability of Canada’s tree fruit sector. This project builds on research funding received under the previous agricultural policy frameworks, and although announced in B.C., it will have an impact across the country with research and testing set to take place in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
“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,” said Pinder Dhaliwal, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association.
As these research projects and production tools develop, Fruit and Vegetable magazine looks forward to keeping growers up to date with the latest tips, tools and techniques to assist in creating and maintaining a productive and profitable farm business.