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Vineland receives nearly $4 million in AAFC funding for Ontario horticulture projects


July 13, 2021
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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On July 7, Neil Ellis, parliamentary secretary to the minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced federal funding of nearly $4 million to support four horticultural research projects at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) in Vineland, Ont.

Ellis made the announcement on behalf of ag minister Marie-Claude Bibeau before touring the Vineland facility alongside Chris Bittle, member of parliament for St. Catharines and parliamentary secretary to the minister of environment and climate change.

“The research being conducted at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, prosperous and competitive horticulture sector for Ontario and all of Canada,” Bittle said in a press release. “These investments will drive innovation, and find solutions to boost yields and reach new markets.”

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Through the federal AgriScience Program, up to $1.8 million will be invested to support Vineland’s on-the-vine breeding program for greenhouse tomatoes, which is the first of its kind in Canada. The program focuses on developing high-yield varieties with improved flavour and production traits that are adapted to Canada’s climate.

Vineland will also receive up to $877,000 to help make Canadian roses more disease-resistant and adaptive, so that they may reach more domestic and international markets. A further $931,000 will support Vineland’s work to discover and evaluate new biocontrol solutions to advance the research on pest management for the Canadian greenhouse sector. These projects are also supported through the AgriScience Program.

The fourth project announced by Ellis will help Vineland lay the foundation to ramp up the conversion of horticultural waste into value-added ingredients in Canada. Up to $200,000 will be provided for the project through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program.

“The Government of Canada’s confidence in Vineland through investment in horticulture innovation means new varieties preferred by consumers and adapted for the Canadian climate and new crop protection solutions making better use of resources and helping the sector be more sustainable,” said Ian Potter, Vineland president and CEO, in a press release. “We appreciate the continued support of our work to enhance the sector’s competitiveness and drive short- and long-term economic growth.”