Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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Government funding to help improve yields


February 22, 2013
By Press release

Topics
(L to R) Ray Duc, chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association; Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines and Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Immigration; Charles Stevens, vice chair of the Ontario Apple Growers, and John Kikkert, chair of the Agricultural Adaptation Council take part in a recent funding announcement at the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention. AAFC

February 22, 2013, Niagara Falls, Ont – Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers will benefit from new technology and marketing strategies announced recently at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Niagara Falls, Ont.

Three horticultural organizations will receive $579,000 under the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) to tackle issues that have been identified by growers as obstacles to reaching higher levels of productivity.

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) will be able to grow new species of tomato and pepper that are of economic importance to Ontario using genomics technology, thanks to an investment of $308,000.

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“Developing new crop varieties to meet evolving consumer demands will help Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers remain competitive,” said Ray Duc, chair of the OFVGA. “This crop genetic technology will help position our industry to adapt more quickly to changes in the marketplace and contribute to the long term sustainability of our sector.”

The Ontario Apple Growers is receiving an investment of $137,000 for a study to better understand evolving consumer preferences, in order to better market their produce.

“With this investment, Ontario Apple Growers will lead a strategy to introduce signature Ontario apples to the marketplace. We see this as an important step to expand provincial acreage, diversify production and improve our reaction time in meeting the demand for delicious, locally-grown varieties,” said Brian Gilroy, chair of the Ontario Apple Growers.

An investment of $133,000 for Seeds of Diversity Canada will help producers control seed-borne disease on tomato farms through ultra-violet radiation, replacing treatments that have been found to be either too expensive or result in enormous losses of seed.

“This investment will help create a new option for seed producers and purchasers to prevent transmission of seed-borne plant diseases, using readily accessible technology that is inexpensive, safe, easy to use, and chemical-free,” said Bob Wildfong, executive director of Seeds of Diversity. “We are developing a UV disinfection method specifically to address seed-borne diseases of tomato seeds, but we are confident that the technique will apply to many other crop types.”

These federal government investments are provided through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a five-year (2009-2014) initiative that helps the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. In Ontario, the regional component of this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.